This article was originally published in The Office Professional newsletter and is reprinted here with permission.
An administrative assistant’s main responsibility is to help his or her executive be as effective, efficient, and successful as possible. Accomplishing this objective often involves face-to-face interaction with the boss to discuss projects, schedules, and meetings. So what happens when an executive is a telecommuter, frequently works from home, or travels extensively?
About 23% of Americans reported that they worked from home at least some of the time, according a 2012 study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number is expected to rise as technological advancements make it easier and more affordable for employees to work from anywhere. This trend means admins will have to adjust the way they interact and collaborate with their executives. Here are some valuable tools that can help:
• Google Calendar. If you and your executive aren’t using a calendar-sharing app yet, you need one. Google Calendar is a great, free option that allows you to share calendars, enter appointments, and schedule text message reminders to be sent to your exec’s phone.
• Skype. Face-to-face interactions are now possible whether your exec is down the street or on the other side of the globe. Skype is a free, online platform that allows you to call, videoconference, and instant message anyone who has an account. You also can use Skype to call cellphones and landlines for a small fee.
• Dropbox. If your exec works remotely, you need an easy way to share files. Email will work for some documents, but larger files or those containing sensitive information might not be transmittable. Dropbox is a low-cost, easy-to-use file-sharing platform that allows you to upload files, share folders, and make real-time edits to documents.
• SignNow. Signing important documents can be a challenge when your exec is miles away. With SignNow, you can upload files to the site, and your exec can sign and date them without the hassle of printing, scanning, and emailing.