Each year EAs’ jobs are changing and growing, for the better. The executive support professional is now a strategic business partner, staff manager, event organiser and so much more. In 2019, we can expect the role of an EA to change even further, and not just in terms of job duties, but also in where and when you work.
A travelling boss requires flexibility
The ever-growing connections between businesses around the world brings with it many unique challenges for executives and their assistants. Executives are now travelling more than ever to do business overseas, and as a result, EAs are working outside their normal working hours.
EAs are now required to work some uncomfortable hours when the meeting being organised is in a completely different time zone. The office isn’t open 24/7, but when you’re expected to be at the ready, working from home is just about the only option. It seems like a bit of an invasion of a carefully structured work-life balance, but when organised properly, the option to work flexibly can not only meet the bosses expectations, but it can also benefit workplace wellbeing.
Working from home has traditionally been perceived as a luxury, or a benefit only given to employees that have circumstances keeping them housebound, like infant children or disabilities.
This idea is changing rapidly. A steadily growing body of research is proving that working from home a day or two a week helps boost your productivity and keep you around for longer.
This means when a job requires work outside of the nine to five, EA’s efforts will be considered in the grand scheme of the working week. Sometimes it’s a still a hard sell – it’s easy to see the benefits of flexible working arrangements for the employee, but managers and executives sometimes still struggle to see how less physical oversight is a good thing.
Keeping in touch
There is a common misconception that working from home makes you difficult to get in touch with. Working remotely a few days a week does not mean you are any less available than if you were in the office.
Balancing the close relationship with your executive from home is far from impossible, there are plenty of tools that offer communication channels that are almost as good – or sometimes better than – being there in person.
A simple video call from your smartphone can suffice for a five minute meeting, without sacrificing your ability to read your executive’s body language. Collaborative online office software now allows multiple people to work on the same document simultaneously; eliminating the constant back and forth of drafts.
Working remotely can improve mental & physical health, productivity levels, and a much needed change of scenery. Flexible work is no longer a ‘perk’ or a bonus for some EAs, soon it will be a necessity.