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Flexibility Is Top Skill for Administrative Jobs

Flexibility Is Top Skill for Administrative Jobs
Credit: Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock

Administrative assistants are finally getting their due.

According to a study from staffing firm Office Team, 60 percent of the managers surveyed said their companies' administrative professionals are valued more today than they were 10 years ago. Just 17 percent of company leaders said they think their assistants are less appreciated than they were a decade ago, the study found.

Administrative staff see that change in attitude: 62 percent said they believe they are more respected by their employer today than previously.

"Although much of what administrative professionals do occurs outside the limelight, many are taking on expanded roles to assist with everything from implementing technology to budgeting," Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, said in a statement.

However, the research shows that managers and administrative professionals do have different ideas about which skills are most valuable in support staff members: Nearly 40 percent of bosses said time management is the skill they want their assistants to be most adept at, while administrative staffers said they think organization is the skill they need most to be successful in their jobs. [Considering a Virtual Assistant? 5 Tips to Make It Work ]

Other abilities both parties deem important are strong verbal and written communication skills, project management, and adaptability to new software and technology.

The study shows that both managers and administrative professionals think flexibility is the most valuable attribute for support personnel; that attribute outranked a positive attitude, initiative and diplomacy.

"Support staff who are flexible can adapt to changing situations and give a lift to the entire team by introducing new tools and processes that promote efficiency," Hosking said.

The study was based on surveys of 610 senior managers and 2,290 administrative professionals in the United States and Canada.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.