Before I go any further, I should say that Blogger has been warning its users for more than a month that it would be "upgrading" its layout and Friday was the day. I logged in, only to realize that I had NO IDEA where anything was on this blog anymore. It was like my local grocery store has been moved suddenly to a secret location, and when I finally tracked it down everything was on a new aisle. There was no amount of coffee to help me cope -- being the technophobe I am -- and so I took the day off. (And Google/Blogger, I'm not a fan of the redesign. Why fix something that wasn't broken? Sorry, pet peeve.)
Anyway, back to the Staples.com survey, which included 624 people queried over Facebook and Twitter. Is a social media survey statistically valid, though? Erm, let's just run with it since it finds the average administrative assistant is a VIP (very important player) in the office. More important than the boss, in fact, since almost two-thirds of office workers Staples surveyed (65.2%) said the office "would more likely fall apart" without the admin assistant, while fewer than one-third (30.3%) said the same thing would happen if the boss were gone. Ouch.
When the average admin assistant isn't holding everything together, he or she is doing a little bit of everything else -- from HR to accounting to random bouts of nebulous "personal support" (concierge, therapist, miracle worker). And what's theirs belongs to everyone else: Roughly 43% of U.S. administrative assistants think their personal office supplies tend to get treated as public property (e.g., "May I borrow your pen/pencil/computer/stapler/staple remover/chair/eraser/paper clip?"). Too bad they don't get extra compensation for all the over-sharing. The average U.S. administrative professional will earn $51,097 this year. No wonder they have a long list of complaints.
I'll keep this post short, because I know you'll need time to find the perfect gift for the hard-working administrative assistants in your company. I know, I know -- another $25-to-$50 gift card, right? That's okay, though, and it's what the majority of administrative professionals in the Staples.com survey expect to receive this year. Actually, the majority (62%) think they'll get nothing except for another last-minute Post-It note or email requesting an additional 50 copies of some random report. Well, I guess it's better than washing and sterilizing the fizzy lifting drinks machine. This remix never gets old.
A majority (67.8%) of office workers surveyed, however, stammered that no, they're planning to pony up for a gift this year, whether it's a gift card (the most popular idea), flowers or food. Throw in a bottle of disinfecting spray while you're at it, guys. Just don't make the administrative assistant pick out his or her own gift, okay?