An executive is generally someone who holds a higher-level position in a company, such as a manager or assistant manager. Administration is tending to the needs of that person and the needs the executive must meet to do his/her job properly. Typically, executive office administration translates to taking care of the office needs and some personal needs of a high level employee so he or she can successfully execute work. Such tending could involve many different things.
When people look at office administration training programs, they’re often told these will prepare them to manage small offices or to take lower level positions such as secretary or administrative assistant. The number of staff in an office could dictate position and responsibilities, and some people run a whole office with a title like executive secretary. Administration doesn’t necessarily translate to management of an office, which is an important distinction to make when people are choosing careers.
Essentially, any support staff in the office of the executive is performing some sort of executive office administration. Jobs that might be undertaken or fulfilled daily include answering phones, taking messages and making appointments. Any worker in the office might use shorthand to record dictated letters and then type these, proofread them, get a signature and send them out. Most offices also have to keep records of their activities, and administrative assistants or secretaries might be in charge of maintaining a file system, filing all records and pulling out needed files, as they are required.
Filing isn’t necessarily on paper any more, and executive office administration is likely to use several business computer programs to maintain certain records. Similarly, while in the past answering phones and writing letters might have been the most common communication source, a person working in office administration today might text, tweet or email communications to people inside or outside of the office. It’s still likely that people who are part of the administration team may have some direct contact with the public or with others in the business who stop by the office for meetings or to speak with the executive, and some employees may need to run interference for that executive if he/she is not available for visits or long meetings.
Part of this administration is seeing to the needs of the executive. These can include maintaining calendars for him or her, making or canceling appointments, and scheduling transportation and travel plans as required. Work could also involve more personal tasks like communicating dates and times with the executive’s family or picking up things like dry cleaning.
At the top rung of executive office administration is management, and these employees may participate in all of the above-listed activities, while also managing the office and any employees. This could mean they act as supervisors, have the power to hire, fire or discipline, and they hold meetings or other communications with employees to keep the office running smoothly. For all levels of employees in these offices, the goal is to work professionally and efficiently to support the work of the executive. Clearly, type of work may vary with each executive’s title and type of company for which office worker and executive are employed.