Research Points to Roles With Greater Scope and Complexity by 2020

MENLO PARK, CA -- Looking ahead 15 years, the roles of administrative professionals may barely resemble those of their counterparts today.   Research shows assistants can expect greater diversity in the jobs they assume and an even more visible position within organizations as the thread that connects a geographically dispersed workforce.

These are key findings of Office of the Future: 2020, a study recently released by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals.  OfficeTeam created the study to examine trends that will likely impact the workplace in the next 10 to 15 years.  In addition to interviews with workplace and technology experts, futurists and trend watchers, OfficeTeam surveyed workers and executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

As the workplace evolves and technology changes how, where and when we work, administrative professionals must have experience in specific areas such as human resources, technology and business processes to ensure remote work teams function properly.   “Tomorrow’s administrative professionals will be specialists rather than generalists,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.  “Their roles will require them to have advanced skill sets, ongoing training and education, and an entrepreneurial approach to their jobs and careers.”

New administrative titles may include:

  • Resource Coordinator – Someone who understands the goals of various business units and brings together project teams, assembling the right internal or external talent needed to accomplish specific objectives.
  • Workflow Controller – The professional who serves as “mission control” for an organization, ensuring colleagues have the necessary support and resources. 
  • Knowledge Manager – This person serves as a repository of institutional information, history and best practices to ensure continuity and consistency in the organization.
  • Information Integrator/Abstractor – Someone who collects, compiles and indexes text, data and images so these materials can be searched in a variety of ways.
  • Telecommuting Liaison – An employee who connects remote workers with each other and management, and provides technical support and policy updates to telecommuters.
  • Virtual-meetings Organizer – An individual who helps employees schedule conferences and set up the necessary equipment, such as cameras, projection systems, meeting software and audio equipment.
  • Administrative Services Director – Someone who recruits, hires and trains administrative service professionals, and works with leaders of other departments to ensure the administrative support needs of each business unit are met.
  • Client/Customer Service Liaison – An employee who serves as the “face” and “voice” of the organization to both internal and external clients, handling inquiries, requests, complaints and feedback, and serving as a link between these parties and other areas of the organization.
  • Electronic Security Specialist (ESS) – This person works with a company’s senior-level information technology staff to communicate and monitor employee adherence to e-communication policies.
  • Compliance Assistant – An individual who helps track and prepare reports on financial, health and/or safety regulations.

Regardless of the roles they assume, administrative professionals of the future will need strong technology skills.  In a recent survey developed by OfficeTeam, 52 percent of executives polled cited information technology as the area of special training that will be most useful for administrative professionals in the future.  The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

“Keeping pace with technology trends will be essential, as administrative staff members not only become early adopters of new hardware and software but also train colleagues on how to use them,” said Domeyer.  “In addition to enhancing their technical skills, administrative professionals should pursue business-focused training that emphasizes negotiation, delegation, budgeting, supervision and planning skills.”

Visit to find additional research findings, survey charts and video clips, and to test your skills.

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

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