Success in today’s world of streamlined corporate processes is, more often than not, reliant on an employer’s ability to adapt to demands. Technology has begun to force out the traditional administrative and support staff role in favor of a workforce that is more nimble. However, the elimination of traditional roles is being met with some controversy.

Adapting to a world of new technology has been the greatest factor in administrative professionals’ jobs over the past year. “Anything that was traditionally or is traditionally administrative, that’s the low-hanging fruit for technology,” says Steve Coco, a principal in Buck Consultants’ talent and HR solutions practice.

Nearly half of senior managers note that technology has impacted the administrative professional job function, more so than changes in company benefits and reductions in staffing size, according to a new OfficeTeam survey.

“The technology and software we use at work is constantly changing,” explains Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “It can take some time and energy for companies and their employees to get up to speed with technological changes. However, in many cases, new technology can lead to time and cost savings in the long run, especially in terms of streamlining efforts and making things more effective.”

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Coco cites Oracle's Fusion Human Capital Management and Workday as leaders in workplace information and HR software due to their ability to allow for ease of access to information.

“Administrative functions [such as] processing of info or data, or keying, or entry [and] document management are those type of things that are being further looked at [and are] either outsourced, offshored or technology-driven,” Coco tells EBN.

Despite 94% of senior managers reporting that their administrative assistant is important to their success at work, many companies are missing out on potential innovative talent management decisions that could help with morale and staffing woes, according to the staffing services company’s findings.

“It’s not uncommon for companies that have downsized to turn to administrative professionals as a valuable resource for help on projects that aren’t typically part of their job description,” Hosking explains to EBN. He highlights that support staff can “wear many hats and adapt quickly to change.”

Traditional processing job tasks continue to be forced out, but the individuals who have held these positions in the past may be an untapped resource for future workplace success. Coco explains that these professionals are typically very analytical or detail-oriented by nature, and could serve the company for the long haul with some dedicated in-house job training.

As with any change, innovative staffing concepts and technology ideas are being met with some controversy. “By nature of that, you will always have morale issues, but that is the new normal that we are talking about,” Coco explains. 

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