Office assistants are a foundational part of any workplace. An office assistant manages general office duties to ensure the office runs smoothly. In addition, handling organisational and clerical support tasks are the primary responsibility of an office assistant. Consequently, office assistants assist with director duties. And they correspond with clients, customers, and vendors.
This article will give you a rundown of the duties and responsibilities of an office assistant. And you will learn to identify the skills you need to become an office assistant.
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Duties and Responsibilities of an Office Assistant
Office assistants play a critical support role. Office assistants help maintain contact lists and communicate on behalf of executives. In addition, they administrate the workplace effectively. Duties and responsibilities of an office assistant include:
- Prepare payrolls sheets, answer calls, and place orders for office supplies.
- Interact with visitors, vendors, and clients.
- Sort and distribute the incoming mails on time.
- Organise the office and use “back office“ computer systems.
- Subsequently, assist associates in maintaining their schedules and appointments.
- You have to create and update records of information. And you have to ensure the accuracy and validity of such data.
- Handle shortages and monitor the level of supplies.
- Plan and schedule meetings and appointments.
- Ensure compliance with established policies and coordinate with other departments.
- Respond to requests or issues and resolve office-related malfunctions.
- Build and maintain a faithful relationship with colleagues, customers, and suppliers.
- You might have to perform receptionist duty if necessary.
- Maintain documents and word processing and update paperwork.
- Create, enter and maintain information into the database.
- You have to organise and coordinate office events as necessary.
- Maintain office equipment and manage filing system.
- Organise travel as required by booking accommodation and reservation.
- All incoming calls have to be attended, screened & diverted. Consequently, you have to forward messages to appropriate staff. And you might have to carry out night office duties.
- To help visitors and employees in all communication, maintain an office phone list.
- Maintain a visitors’ log to keep records of guest visits.
- Carry out front desk procedures by collaborating with the office operation manager.
- Maintain security and provide external and internal support to electricians and janitors.
- Maintain an effective environment for both employees and customers.
Skills & Qualifications of an Office Assistant
Depending on the industry, the skills an office assistant may vary. However, some common skills are required for an office assistant. These skills aid in the effective organisation and management of a workplace.
The must-have skills for an office assistant are:
Written communication is a much-needed skill for an office assistant. Employers request it in almost every field. You might have to compose emails or write social media posts for a company. And your writing skills will help your message stand out.
Subsequently, strong written communication skills are essential for drafting letters. And it assists in drafting memos, or speeches for executives.
Consequently, excellent written communication skills improve the quality level of your official correspondence. Usage of proper grammar and professional tone are examples of written communication skills. Therefore, you will require it while writing email and workplace messages, among others.
Office assistants should be able to correspond with co-workers and managers regularly. Because as an office assistant, you might be required to support the entire workplace. Moreover, verbal skills are crucial while having a phone conversation or talking in person.
Subsequently, verbal skills are necessary while participating in meetings. And it is crucial while making conversation with the clients and customers. As an office assistant, you have to listen to the concerns of customers. And you have to respond appropriately to queries. Office assistants are at the front of dealing with all administrative activities of a company.
So, you must keep calm and compose yourself in every situation. After all, you as an office assistant will be the lynchpin that holds it all together!
Organisational skills are crucial for every employee in the workplace. It is especially significant for assistants working in an office setting. You might have to manage many tasks and process pieces of information at the same time. Moreover, office assistants have to organise and plan a month’s schedule. And they might have to work directly under an executive during this time.
Also, many office assistants have to maintain a file management system. So you have to be adept at storing and retrieving files in the storage or on the computer. Organisational skills include delegation, planning, and office management, among others.
Detail-oriented abilities are something not everyone can master. But having a keen eye and attention to detail plays off really well for an office assistant. For instance, you can notice missed signatures and write professional emails with no spelling errors. And all you need for that is careful attention to detail.
Sensitivity and high awareness of surroundings are necessary for office communication sometimes. Moreover, you need to pay close attention to the email addresses and information. Otherwise, lack of careful attention could lead to mismanagement of data and unclear communication.
Consequently, you have to submit correct information repeatedly while completing data entry duties. You can use your detail oriented skills in reviewing correspondence and submitting reports. And most importantly, attention to detail is necessary for completing everyday responsibilities.
The ability to be punctual is the essence of time management. You have to manage your time in a way that lets you complete all your assigned tasks in due time. Consequently, office assistants typically have a long to-do list every day. Needless to say, you have to master the art of time management for meeting the deadline.
Strong time management skills make you punctual and help you reach deadlines. Consequently, in any unforeseen situation, it assists in readjusting your priority. Moreover, you can learn to plan your day ahead for optimum productivity.
Problem-Solving & Analytical Ability
The ability of problems solving is invaluable for an office assistant. You are likely to encounter unexpected obstacles as an office assistant. And sudden changes in schedule will be the norm for you. Consequently, problem-solving and analytical skills let you think quick on your feet in times of challenges.
You can be flexible and think creatively while solving problems at ease. Moreover, strong analysis skills can expand your mindset. And it also makes you susceptible to other people’s fruitful suggestions. You can ask for help and collaborate with team members.
Remember, teamwork makes the dream work! As an office assistant, you mustn’t keep the problems to yourself. Instead, share your concerns and need for change with authority. And let them help you through the process of making change.
Office assistants need to have the skill of being able to work autonomously. You have to be able to complete tasks with minimal supervision. And you have to be able to follow instructions. Remember, you are responsible for the smooth running of a workspace. So, most of the time you have to work independently.
Consequently, you have to be able to interpret and process the information on your own. So, being an independent individual will help you complete tasks accurately.
Workspaces today can not function without the touch of technology. Moreover, office assistants are likely to work on computers most of the time. So, being tech-savvy and experienced in technology is a must for an office assistant.
Most of your work might have to be completed using Microsoft Office or similar suites. Moreover, you need to be comfortable using word processors, spreadsheets and other tools for creating publications. Consequently, you may be obligated to scan documents. And you have to send faxes on behalf of executives. So, you have to have good command over how these operate.
To use your time effectively, you have to know the ins and outs of browsers. And you should have a good command of software and operating systems. Being a successful office assistant means you must embrace all the good things about technology.
Get an admin, secretarial & PA diploma. And learn all the skills and tricks for managing administrative work. The course covers the technical aspect of being an office assistant.
Salary of an Office Assistant
And now to the part, you have been eagerly waiting for. How much does an office assistant earn? Starting salary of an office assistant in the UK is around £14,000. However, as you climb the ladder of access and experience, your earnings can be as high as £30,000 per year.
Consequently, you might enjoy additional benefits as an employee. For example, your typical work hour will include around 38 to 40 hours per week. Also, you might enjoy employee health insurance benefits. Consequently, your salary will get a yearly review. And a yearly festival bonus will be ready for you.
Getting a significant role and fulfilling all the responsibilities that come with it is not easy. And that goes for any career. However, once you get on with it, everything will fall into place. Think of the office as your fortress, which you have the power to look after.
An office assistant is a key to the effective functioning of any workplace. Remember, being a self-starter is a crucial skill of an office assistant! So, it is time for you to get started!