How the role of an EA has changed due to COVID-19

Tasks such as organising digital events,have become bigger priorities. Here are some of the ways EA job duties have changed

If you’ve attended an Executive PA Summit, you’ll have heard one of my colleagues talking about how EA and PA job duties have changed due to the pandemic. Some tasks that were traditional priorities for an EA—such as coordinating and booking travel— have diminished. Other tasks, meanwhile—such as organising digital events—have become bigger priorities. Here are some of the ways EA job duties have changed.

A wider set of tasks – Business leaders and executives now expect their EA to take responsibility for a wider set of tasks, including reception and administrative support. Employers are also rolling multiple roles into one. As a result, it’s advisable to consider upskilling, so you can adapt to new responsibilities and extend your capabilities.

Connect when working from home – As we highlighted in our report ‘What it takes to be an EA’, a top-performing assistant needs to keep communication channels open. This takes on a greater priority in a hybrid working world. So, adapt your communication practices to support and align with increases in remote work. For example, set up regular check in meetings with colleagues, clarify communication expectations and be responsive when others reach out. Pick up the phone or make video calls as much as possible.

Get digitally fit – EAs are spending more time coordinating digital training, virtual onboarding and virtual meeting scheduling. They are also overseeing IT set up and fixing hardware. Tech savvy EAs are in the best position to succeed in these scenarios. In fact, we now regularly have employers coming to us requesting EA candidates with exceptional digital and technology skills to support in these areas.

Health and safety management – EAs have a bigger role to play in ensuring workplaces are COVID-safe. Job responsibilities often include directing physical distancing protocols, promoting good hygiene, keeping records of employee health, taking action if employees become unwell and creating workforce bubbles. How has your role changed in response to the pandemic?

Alex Jones is Senior Regional Director at Hays Office Support