New technology sweeps away role of gatekeeper secretary
Thursday 26 June 2003
The secretary's traditional tasks of taking dictation and answering the boss's telephone are disappearing as managers switch to e-mail and mobile phones, a survey out today suggests.
Secretaries still complained of overwork, even though three quarters of bosses write most of their own letters and 64 per cent take business calls on their mobile telephones.
A study of 754 secretaries found that a third complained of working longer hours than they did two years ago because they were diverted to other tasks.
They claimed typically to work an extra day a week in unpaid overtime, and a quarter claimed they did not take a break during the day.
Secretaries said they had taken on extra responsibilities including finding new staff and other management tasks, according to the survey by OfficeTeam, a recruitment firm. A fifth said they spent nearly half their day working for someone other than their boss and were forced to pick up the work of any colleagues made redundant.
More than one third of those questioned said there were fewer people to share the workload. The volume of work they faced was cited as the main cause of stress.
"The traditional picture of a secretary used to be as a 'gatekeeper' for her boss - no one could get in to see the boss, speak to him on the telephone or make an appointment with him without her knowing about it," Steve Carter, the managing director of OfficeTeam, said.
"That has all been swept away by new technology. They have less direct contact with their boss, but they have more general responsibility within their organisation."
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
iJobs Money & Business
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...
£50000 - £55000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Relationship M...
Highly Attractive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - BRILLIANT FIRM - You wil...