Someone on an office administration staff is often the first to greet both employees of that corporation and visitors entering through the front doors. This is a high-profile job belonging to an individual who usually does more behind the scenes than in the spotlight, but without this person, the office likely would notice his or her absence. Under the umbrella of this group are several possible titles in addition to the office administrator himself or herself. There might be an administrative assistant, administrative professional, and executive assistant, and in some types of offices, there could be a medical office specialist, medical office assistant, or dental assistant. Of course, there are additional roles as well as variations on each.
The office administrative staff often introduces efficiency and organization into the workplace. Depending on the type of office, executives and employees are often caught in a mire of deadlines, meetings, and paperwork. The administration professional frequently streamlines the flow of those processes, scheduling meetings and conference calls that otherwise would have gone overlooked, booking conference rooms, and even keeping the kitchen or eating area in an office space manageable.
Sometimes, the office administrator also inherits the role of executive assistant. The executive assistant is assigned to one or more of the key leaders at a company and is responsible for doing virtually whatever that person needs throughout the workday. The tasks this person does can range from the mundane to extremely detailed events that require intense focus. For instance, the head of a company might rely on her office administrator to order lunch each day and might expect that person to book flights and hotel stays. As a result, the executive assistant is often entrusted with sensitive information, such as credit card and personal family details about the boss.
Office administration in a medical or dental office can be quite different from that in another type of environment. A medical or dental office specialist has to deal with patients just as often as he or she will with the internal medical staff — and in some cases more so. This individual likely is involved with answering phones, enrolling new patients, scheduling appointments, and communicating with healthcare professionals. This, as with any administration job, requires familiarity with the medical office's computer system and software.
An office administrative professional usually can mold his or her role, at least somewhat. For instance, there often is close relationships between an administrative assistant and the human resources department because of the nature of their roles. The same often holds true for the accounting department. As a result, the administrative assistant might need to become familiar with some of the tasks tied to those departments, which will only increase his or her knowledge and value to the firm.