Administrative professionals were hit hard in 2020, with hiring freezes and layoffs across various industries. Many companies over-reduced their staff numbers in the wake of the pandemic, and are now scrabbling to hire back executive assistants, office managers, receptionists, and facilities professionals.
But there seems to be a growing disconnect between company expectations and candidate needs. More and more administrative candidates are telling us that they don’t want to return to the office full-time and are choosing instead to pursue hybrid or fully remote opportunities. Additionally, vaccine mandates in offices are further reducing the candidate pool for administrative professionals willing to work onsite 5 days a week.
Unfortunately, fully remote opportunities for administrative workers are few and far between.
Over the last eighteen months, administrative workers have demonstrated their adaptability, flexibility, and commitment to helping executive teams run offices remotely. For many, a return to the office would signal a return to pre-pandemic constraints on work—life balance.
But companies have offices to fill, and many executives and teams are requesting onsite administrative support. While several organizations have opened up the hybrid workplace to administrative employees, a fully remote administrative role is still a rare occurrence.
“My first question now to a new candidate is, ‘Are you willing to commute to the office and, if so, how many days a week?’ Many of our clients are looking for administrative professionals to work onsite at least a few days a week, with the eventual expectation of returning to the office full-time once it is safe to do so,” explains Clare Wright, Executive Director of Recruitment at Green Key Professional Support.
A return to office would disproportionately affect women in administrative careers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 72.7% of all administrative professionals in the United States are women. And women commonly bear the brunt of the “at-home” labor, whether that is childcare, educational support, housework, or caring for other family members. With uncertainty over the upcoming school year, there is likely to be more disruption for offices and administrative staff.
The pandemic saw women drop out of the workplace at a higher pace than ever before. And yet the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high in New York and other major urban areas across the United States, according to the latest data published by YCharts.
Many are hesitant to work outside the home due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for themselves or their families. Others are juggling the demands of childcare, caring for other family members, or physical and/or mental health issues aggravated by the ongoing pandemic. For these individuals, hybrid work options allow for a more flexible return to the office.
How can administrative job seekers seek out remote work options during this time?
As the delta variant and the back-to-school effects of COVID-19 start to be felt across the country, companies many need to adjust their expectations for fully onsite workers. While there will be exceptions to the rule, many administrative functions can be handled remotely with only occasional in-person interaction needed.
This is where Green Key’s expertise comes in. Our Professional Support team is dedicated to helping companies achieve their administrative support expectations while advocating for the needs of job seekers.
Get in touch with our team today. Apply to remote or hybrid administrative job openings to get started: