Over the last few months I have been busy behind the scenes working on the programme for Assist 2017. It is coming together really well, so I thought now would be a good time to share 10 reasons why I think you lovely lot should attend. It is on Friday 24th February in London. We have packed the day full of brilliant content, speakers and lots and lots of practical sessions designed for you to take back to the office with you. Places are still available for only £300+VAT.
- Every session is designed to enhance your unique tool kit of skills. You will leave Assist 2017 with practical knowledge that you can immediately put into practice back in the office.
- There are also lots of opportunities over the course of the conference to meet and network with every other assistant in the room. By the end of the day you will know every other assistant attending the conference.
- We have a dedicated LinkedIn session run by the UK’s top trainer on the platform. Mark Williams aka Mr LinkedIn will provide fantastic examples and advice for any assistant who would like to get more out of LinkedIn and integrate it into their role.
- There will be a number of specific soft skills sessions for assistants, including an interactive keynote, from award winning coach and author Jenny Garrett, on confidence in the workplace. Jenny’s mission is to transform the world for everyone, one empowered woman at a time. She uses her years of experience in coaching and leadership to inspire and motivate people, working with them to deliver career and life changing results beyond expectation.
- We have four fantastic case studies from brilliant assistants who have undertaken a project that has moved their career forward. We will hear how they got involved in the project, what the work did for their career, what skills they took up during the process and their take home tips.
- Once again, the relationship between Assistant and their Executive will be at the heart of the conference. We will have an in depth interview with a top level PA and her brave Executive. They will share how they work together, what key skills the assistant needs to compliment her Executive and they will both offer delegates advice to make the relationship work.
- We will have all of the latest office tech and apps on display and ready for you to test, play with and take back to the office.
- For assistants who need to update their little black book of contacts we will have a brilliant ‘speed networking’ session where all of the delegates will be swapping details on those great suppliers.
- Moving the assistant industry forward must come from within the industry itself. At Assist 2017 we will focus on how we can shape the future of the role, the skills we will need to enhance our fantastic tool kit of never ending skills and how we can finally get the reward and recognition that we deserve.
- The Assist Conference will not be your run of the mill stuffy conference. We want to do things a little differently so expect this conference to be fun, engaging and, most importantly, relevant to you as an assistant!
If you would like to attend but are not sure if you will get approval from your Executive hopefully this blog will help. I also have a business case letter that you can send to your boss to help with any conversations you will have regarding training for 2016. If you would like the business case, please do get in touch and I will send to straight to you via email.
Assist Conference 2017
During the conference, we will be discussing all of the important tools that assistants need to succeed in the role – now and in the next 5 years. Taking place on the 24th February in London for only £300+VAT. If you would like to book your place on the conference, check out the programme or the speakers, please do make your way over to the website.
With the end of the year hurtling towards us, many of you will be thinking about next year and potentially looking for a new job. Many of you will want to try something different and that may well be in the form of a new and exciting organisation – or startup, as trendy people like to call new businesses these days! There are many pros and cons when it comes to working for any new organisation, particularly when you are part of the initial setup. Working for a startup can be a real challenge, but for assistants it can also bring lots of rewards. Do you want to work for a start up? This is what you need to know!
With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s a good time to focus on your surroundings and think about clearing any clutter that may have built up over the year. Taking the time for an end of year detox will mean you’re ready for a fresh start in the New Year.
Thanks again to everyone that completed the Practically Perfect PA Industry Snapshot 2016. We really did gain a great insight into how you feel about the role, your training requirements, your opinion on Practically Perfect PA and where you think the industry is heading in the next five years. I will take everything you have said on board and all of your comments really will help shape all of our activities for 2017 and beyond.
Nobody needs to tell you how influential you are in the office – it kinda goes without saying over here at Practically Perfect PA. However, following our recent Industry Snapshot survey, we have a lot of interesting data that shows us the areas in which you have the most influence. Your influence falls roughly into five areas… Here is a little more detail:
Are you feeling a lack of confidence at work, resulting in you not speaking up or putting yourself forward?
Thanks again to everyone who completed the Practically Perfect PA Industry Snapshot survey. We had some really interesting feedback and I want to share some of that with you today. We asked you a few questions regarding the environment you currently find yourself working in and what your offices might look like in the future. Here are some of your thoughts…
Has the design of your office changed in the last five years?
- We are working towards a paperless office within the next two years
- Yes, we now have an open plan office with hot desks and more people working from home
- We have had a total office renovation with modern furniture – office desks for standing or sitting. Updates on all of our hardware & software, including touch screen telephones with face-view and better communication system. We also have live chat with our IT support desk
- Yes with health being a focus so think office gym equipment, stand up desks etc.
- Our office is much more eco-friendly
- Agile working is the way forward for our office
- The meeting rooms in our offices are much more flexible with movable walls, digital whiteboards etc.
- We’ve reduced the amount of storage space to encourage staff to go digital
- We have more informal meeting spaces
- I now work from home
- We have consolidated people into less space to save money on office rent
- We now have a zero tolerance policy for paper left on desks over night
- We moved buildings and all of the assistants were assigned desks next to each other
Do you work in the same location as your Executive?
I asked this question to see whether assistants were working more remotely from their Executives but the answer was a resounding no, with 87% of you still working in the same location. I would imagine that most assistants still sit outside their Executive’s office or pretty close by and I can’t imagine this changing any time soon!
Are you able to work remotely (from home or out of the office)?
64% of you answered yes to this question which is slightly higher than previous years. It looks like organisations finally understand that assistants can work very productively while out of the office!
On average, how often does your Executive travel for business?
I asked this as the number of people travelling on business continues to rise and many Executive’s now spend more time on the road than they do in the office. Your answers certainly seem to reflect this trend with 70% of you saying your Executive travels at least once per month. This will certainly change how assistants work with their Executive’s particularly around the use of technology.
Some of your favourite technology
Here is some of the technology you use on a regular basis…
- Google docs
- Bloomberg & Reuters
- Huddle, Doodle, Prezi, Sway
- Telepresence rooms
- Echo Smartpen
- Google Hangout
In a typical month, which types of apps do you use on your smartphone for work?
I was surprised at the mixture of responses for this question with many of you happily listing your favourite apps while others said they did not or were not allowed to use their smartphones for work purposes. Many organisations, for security reasons, do not allow staff to use their own devices for work including access to emails etc. I wonder what effect this has on work life balance for assistants within these types of organisations? It would certainly stop you checking emails at ungodly hours, which can only be a good thing!
For those of you who do use your smartphones, here are some of your preferred apps:
- National Rail, TFL, Hotels.com
- Banking apps, maps, stocks, Uber, restaurant apps
- Travel Apps: Tripit / flight apps / Hotel apps / City guides etc.
- Concur for expenses
- The Calculator – all the time!
- Outlook mail & calendar, Yammer, OneNote, OneDrive, Google, MSN Weather, Office Lens, Skype for Business
- MobileDay, Waze, Amazon, Concur, Uber, WhatsApp, Skype and Amex
- American Airlines, FlightStats, Open Table, Google Maps, Weather Channel, CNN, Apple Notes, FaceTime, InstaCart, Uber, Curb, Amazon, WhatsApp (International Texting when my Executive is travelling abroad), Facebook, Twitter, Marriott, Goodreads, Transit Tracker
- The Trainline
We have also put together a handy infographic with all of the information, please feel free to share this with your colleagues and network!
Every admin wears many hats: office manager, personal assistant, life coach, travel planner. And each hat requires a different set of skills and a different set of tools. Every time your manager is heading out of town, it’s time for you to don your travel planner hat, slip into your traveler’s shoes, and equip yourself with your suite of travel planning tools. TRAVO’s goal is to boil down your arsenal of travel tools, ranging from sticky notes to Excel spreadsheets, to one single booking and planning platform. Our inspiration and drive for this goal has stemmed directly from conversations from admins just like yourself!
A huge thank you to everyone that took the time to complete this years Industry Snapshot and Practically Perfect PA survey. We had just over 500 responses, which is a huge increase from last year’s results. We are working our way through all of the information you gave us, but I thought today I would share a little bit more about you guys – the Practically Perfect PA readers! Here is a quick breakdown of our reader demographics and some of your thoughts on the industry.