Administrative professionals are often a manager's right hand, and new research shows these office superstars would love to help even more at work.

Half (50%) of support staff surveyed said they have skills that are not being tapped.

The findings are part of Office of the Future, a research project from staffing firm OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

Administrative professionals were asked, "To what extent does your current manager utilize your full abilities?”

Their responses:

  • To a great extent; I use my full range of skills—43%
  • To some extent, but I have some skills that are not being tapped—50%
  • Not at all; I am completely underutilized—7%

Administrative professionals often have skills that make them well-suited to help with tasks outside of their conventional roles," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.

"When support staff take on new projects, companies gain a valuable resource, and workers receive the opportunity to boost their talents and try their hand at new things."

Four other key findings from the research:

  1. Support staff are organizing soirees and spreadsheets.
  • Administrative workers identified event planning (78%) and controlling costs (66%) as the top areas they've been asked to help with.
  1. Many are “getting social.”
  • About three in five (58%) senior managers interviewed said administrative staff have assisted in updating company profile information or images on social media.
  • Forty-five percent noted that support personnel have monitored user comments or feedback on these sites.
  • More than half (54%) of executives said administrative professionals have helped manage or support the company's LinkedIn account. Forty-nine percent have received their assistance with Facebook.
  1. They have connections in all the right places.
  • When asked which departments they collaborate with at least once a week, most administrative workers said information technology (79%).
  • Many also interact with colleagues in finance and accounting (76%) and human resources (66%).
  1. Administrative professionals have more influence than you might think.  
  • Most managers (88%) stated they value their assistant's opinion about the job candidates they interview.
  • Nearly half (49%) of administrative professionals said they've been asked to provide feedback on job applicants based on their interactions in the lobby or on the phone.

Forty-four percent have interviewed candidates themselves.

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