History and Future of Construction Virtual Assistant
While secretaries and receptionists originally started as low-level positions in corporate America, their role has dramatically evolved to an impactful and jack-of-all-trades role in today’s workforce. In fact, even the term “secretary” or “receptionist” is outdated by today’s standards, with the term executive assistant or administrative assistant being the preferred title now.
In the construction industry, the position of an administrative assistant is crucial to the success and cohesion across the organization. And while technology has advanced the role to what it is today, administrative assistants have been around for centuries.
From secretary to administrative assistant
Originally called secretaries, the role of the administrative assistant has been a critical one in history, dating back to the 1800s when the typewriter was developed. After the Civil and Industrial Revolution, companies recruited men to work in construction jobs and factories to help produce goods and materials. With men in the factories, offices needed help keeping track of records and typing documents.
At the time, it was widely believed that women were “better typists” due to their smaller fingers. By the 1920s, being a secretary was almost exclusively considered a women’s job.
This generalized belief that women were better administrative assistants held true until the 1940s, when World War II began and women were required to enter the workforce in more manual and labor-intensive jobs. News articles from that period indicate there was actually a shortage of administrative professionals!
In the 1950s, the National Secretary Association was developed. Over the next few decades, as the women’s rights movement took place, demands for better wages were at the forefront of this position.
Around the 1970s, the word “secretary” became unpopular among working professionals, and the title “administrative assistant” grew into a popular vocabulary. Today, there is an International Association of Administrative Professionals and even an Administrative Professionals Week to celebrate those in the position.
The role of the administrative assistant today
As technology has advanced and the workplace has evolved, the administrative assistant’s role is widely respected and a “jack-of-all-trades” in the workforce. Gone are the days of managing filing cabinets and bringing coffee orders. Today, the administrative assistant is responsible for various tasks ranging from onboarding new hires to planning travel for executives.
While women still account for a majority of administrative roles, there are over 22 million administrative assistants in the U.S. workforce today. They aren’t just answering phones – they’re making business critical decisions for companies big and small.
In the construction industry
Anyone who’s worked in the construction industry knows that there are always moving pieces and projects to juggle. An administrative assistant in the construction industry can be the missing puzzle piece to connect all the dots.
With the increase of virtual work, the construction industry has caught on and realized the beneits of a construction virtual assistant. If you’re a business owner, this type of position can be incredibly helpful to running you’re business. You’ll be able to get the added help for your administrative tasks without taking on the added costs of the overhead of a full-time employee or one that needs an office space — it’s the best of both worlds!
A construction virtual assistant can help with many tasks, even from the comfort of their home. Gone are the days of commuting to the office. Now virtual assistants are able to log on from wherever they are in the world to assist with your business.
By hiring a construction virtual assistant to complete these tasks, you’ll have more time to spend growing your business and attending to strategic projects. Our team is able to help you hire more than just a general administrative assistant. We’re able to recruit and hire knowledgable experts in industry-specific areas like an estimating assistant, assistant project manager, shop drawing draftsman, and more. Construction is our specialty, and we know first hand the value great talent can bring to your business.
Future of the role
Just like many industries, the popularity of the gig economy has given many businesses and consumers the option to hire part-time or short-term workers to complete the work they need. Staffing for administrative assistants is no different. At Virtual Construction Assistants, we’re seeing clients request short-term help in a variety of projects, from HR management to more specialized roles like support for a project estimator or general contractor.
Despite an increase in technology, administrative assistants have stayed extremely relevant in the workforce. Today’s virtual workers are also accustomed to learning new technology quickly, making it easier than ever to train employees on new platforms and systems.
As technology continues to streamline manual work, administrative assistants will continue to be crucial in connecting the pieces between software and providing that human-element that customers and clients are looking for. People will still want to speak to a real human on the phone!
While technology continues to adapt, we expect that companies will continue to seek help with specialized roles on a short-term basis, allowing them to get the support they need without paying the high cost of full-time employees. Companies will always need good people to hire, but workers are continuing to enjoy the flexibility to work from home and also work on a variety of projects. That’s why hiring a virtual construction assistant is not only smart it’s innovative for today’s workforce.
Since the role of the secretary has evolved, today’s administrative assistant can really be seen as the glue that keeps your business operating smoothly. Just ask our clients — they’ll share how hiring a construction virtual assistant helped them save money, increase efficiency and grow their business. If you’re considering hiring a specialized admin, contact us today. We will help you understand your specific business needs and bring you talented candidates to support you along the way.