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Juggling productivity and problems: How admin professionals can do it all


Lumin staff


Jun 30, 2024


Cloud Basics

read time

3 mins

illustration of 5 juggling balls (alternating dark blue and sky-blue) are wobbling in a circle against a pale blue background

A recent IAAP survey reveals executive assistants' biggest problems. We explain what these are, and how we can fix them.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Juggling multiple administrative priorities

  • 2. Assisting execs and admins

  • 3. Staying productive while overloaded

  • 4. Adapting to organizational change

  • 5. Understanding and using new tech

  • 1. Juggling multiple administrative priorities
  • 2. Assisting execs and admins
  • 3. Staying productive while overloaded
  • 4. Adapting to organizational change
  • 5. Understanding and using new tech

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Executive assistants are vital to any smooth business operation. When the EA’s happy, everyone’s happy; that’s why it’s so important to address any challenges they face head-on.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals’ (IAAP) state-of-the-profession benchmarking survey told us exactly what those challenges are. Over 3,600 respondents worldwide reported the most significant challenges they face at work:

  • managing multiple priorities
  • assisting a variety of people
  • overall workload
  • adapting to organizational change
  • picking up new technology

Is there one easy way to answer these challenges? You’ll never believe this, but: yes! It’s Google. No, not Google Search; Google Workspace.

Read on to learn more about the IAAP’s challenges, and how they can be solved.

Juggling multiple administrative priorities

An EA’s to-do list includes the business-as-usual – managing busy calendars, scheduling meetings and handling correspondence – but there’s always more. They need to be nimble in response to unexpected requests and interruptions like a canceled meeting, an important lost package or getting last-minute, critical approval on a proposal change. 

It’s a juggling act that requires excellent organizational skills and precise time management.

Google Tasks is a task management application that simplifies all of this. Users can create to-do lists, set due dates and prioritize tasks. It also integrates with Gmail and Google Calendar, enabling executive assistants to manage tasks and events in one place. 

On the document management side, Google Drive is your answer for cloud-based storage. EAs can group documents into department-specific folders, curate viewing and editing permissions for anyone in the company and keep tabs on what was most recently changed.

Assisting execs and admins

Navigating diverse personalities, schedules and communication styles can be a full-time job. The more manual tasks you can automate, the more time and energy you can pour into relationship building. 

Google Calendar is a solution for creating and managing events, setting reminders and quickly sharing schedules with team members. It integrates with Gmail and Google Meet, so you can easily schedule virtual meetings and conference calls with just a few clicks.

Again, Google Drive provides a centralized location for all files for speedy search, retrieval, sharing and collaboration. The Lumin integration is especially handy for getting those high-level approvals and signatures on a quick turnaround.

Staying productive while overloaded

While your overall workload isn’t often something you can do much about, you can take the tediousness out of lengthy tasks.

On top of the apps already covered, Google Chat and Google Meet cut out lengthy email threads and in-person meetings, which often involve travel. 

And all of these applications allow administrative professionals to work from anywhere. That flexibility alone can relieve stress by giving you more control over your work-life balance.

Adapting to organizational change

While organizational change can be difficult for many people, administrative pros are in a special position to drive that change.

An EA’s job is, at its core, relationship management. When a big change is coming, you’re more likely to know its impact across departments. You can manage this impact and keep everyone onside with apps like Docs, Sheets, Slides and other integrated tools that facilitate communication. 

Change is uncomfortable for most people. Clarity, speed and collaboration go a long way toward building consensus and ultimate organizational buy-in. 

Understanding and using new tech

Rapidly evolving technology is top-of-mind for EAs. With so many advances and new tools popping up daily, it can take time to determine which solutions will work best to serve your daily needs.

“Our Professional Development Forecasting Committee recently interviewed about 30 admins and asked what topics they would like to learn more about,” says IAAP Chief Experience Officer Rachel Suman. Among these was AI. “I am sure this is not a surprise,” Suman added.

From those priorities, it is clear professionals are eager to use any available and useful technology to improve communication and relationship building; and Google’s products are both.

The Google Workspace applications and integrations included here are all designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, making them easy to understand and use. Many of the tools include AI-powered suggestions, which will help EAs to get a head start on understanding a rapidly developing field.

If you’re an administrative professional or manager, Google Workspace is a powerful toolkit. And once you're in, a whole new world of cloud-based productivity hacks is at your feet.

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