There was a time when the role of the senior PA was keeping a paper diary, leaving post-it messages for the boss and taking minutes of meetings using a jotter pad. Now, thanks to the evolution of technology, those days are a distant memory which is a blessing for some but perhaps not so much for others.
While there is a new generation of senior PAs that have been bought up on technology there are still those who somewhat prefer the traditional methods. Well, technology is clearly here to stay and no doubt it will continue to evolve rapidly. Attic Recruitment shares their view of how technology has changed the role of the senior PA and the benefits of this change.
Twenty years ago, the diary would have been a paper diary controlled by the PA who would make a note of what meetings, appointments and other commitments the boss had that day. Very rarely did the senior execs get their hands on their own diary, but instead would have to rely heavily on their PA to ensure they knew where they had to be at all times.
Great if you don’t want to have to think about managing your own diary, not so great if your PA is off sick or unavailable. Now, thanks to Outlook calendars, and other such electronic diaries, both the senior exec and the PA can make entries into the diary, view it, update it and see exactly what is what across all devices – on the mobile phone, tablet or office computer.
Post-it notes, scraps of papers and scribbled notes on jotter pads were the way to remind the boss that he had a meeting in 15 minutes. Now the electronic calendar can be automatically set to ping a reminder on the phone so that the senior exec gets notice an hour before, 15 minutes before and at the time of the event. Not only does this save time and stress, it also reduced the number of scraps of paper!
While shorthand was the secret weapon of the PA, it was only legible by someone who understood this mystical language. Then the PA would have to type up the minutes and circulate them. Well, now there are so many options. Typing straight into a document or even using dictation on a mobile phone that translates the notes into text, making notes in an app on the phone which can then be expanded on later.
Evernote is a great app that can be used to share documents with others and can be used on a mobile phone. Add tags, record notes and format text and once the meeting is done, so are your minutes. While Evernote is just one app that can help with meeting minutes there is a variety to choose from some which even come with minute templates.
Benefits Of Technology
While syncing calendars and meeting minutes are just the tip of the iceberg they are an excellent example of how technology has changed the role of many PA jobs in London and other metropolitan areas. There is no longer a need to ‘double do’ tasks saving much time which can be spent on other duties. Meeting minutes don’t have to be written in shorthand and then re-written so they are legible.
There isn’t just one version of a calendar kept under the control of the PA and there is no longer a need for post-it notes stuck to everything! It also opens up the possibility of remote working. A PA doesn’t have to be sitting outside the office at all times or following the boss around the country for meeting after meeting. Business can be conducted efficiently and more effectively thanks to the benefits of technology and the role of the Senior PA can run more smoothly.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.