The Role of the PA in the Digital Age
Posted on Monday, May 13, 2019 by Top London PA — No comments
These days, you can get artificial intelligence (AI) PA apps. The number of virtual assistants (working from home and for any number of clients) is booming. Does this mean that real-life PA jobs in London or other cities are disappearing? As a PA recruitment agency, we know that this isn’t the case. However, we also know that the role is shifting. Office support jobs and PA jobs in 2019 don’t look the same as they did 30 years ago. So let’s see what’s changed…
Are PAs being replaced by technology?
Wait up and don’t panic. Yes, technology is radically shaping the PA role. However, it’s reshaping business in general. No role is exempt from change. Technology does have the capacity to remove, or at least simplify, certain elements of the traditional PA role.
As part of any office support job that involves booking travel, you’re probably already using chat bots. You may not know it, but you likely are. One of our PAs said about bots: “I didn’t know I was talking to a robot, the email conversation seemed no different to that I’d had with people before.” You’re probably also familiar with how aspects of your role are made considerably easier by technology. You potentially use apps to organise your work or make bookings. At the most basic level, you benefit from the internet and word processing, which has removed typing pools.
However, this definitely doesn’t mean that the role is being replaced. Alongside the use of technology, we’re learning how humans really matter in the roles they play. AI can’t read your boss’s mood for example. You, as a human with knowledge of that individual, can make adjustments to their schedule based on micro-knowledge. No technology, no matter how awesome its algorithms are, can do this. You can think laterally and ‘outside-of-the-box’, without returning a ‘does not compute’ frustration.
The growing role of the PA
What is interesting, and that we see often as a PA recruitment agency, is whilst technology has shifted the scope of the PA role and office support jobs in London, there are other factors coming into play too.
The Guardian reports that during the most recent recession, “duties traditionally belonging to middle management have also been taken up by PAs.” The same article goes on to reveal that 16% of PAs and secretaries say their boss regularly takes their recommendations on business decisions.
On the ground, we find that employers come to us as a trusted PA recruitment agency seeking PAs and office support staff who are capable of running a meeting in their place, not just booking it. There are a myriad of other tasks affected too.
Be the PA of the modern age
To thrive in PA jobs in London in 2019 and beyond, you need to demonstrate that technology doesn’t make you dispensable whilst embracing its benefits. You have the edge because you are efficient, dedicated, and capable of building a meaningful working relationship with your executive.
If you’re looking for PA and office support jobs in London, then we are your PA recruitment agency.
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