Do Executive Assistants add value?

There’s a debate about whether or not executive assistants (EAs) improve productivity.

Some executives argue that having to complete their own travel and hotel bookings, complete expense reports, and schedule their own meetings, gives them less time to do “real” work.

On the other hand companies often see executive assistants as just adding to the “headcount” whilst critics think that some executives abuse their power with executive assistants asking them to do personal tasks.

For example, one former EA said she had a really good relationship with her boss who got her to pay her bills,  organise her holidays, and even go house-hunting with her. On the positive side her boss supported her in her studies and in moving into a managerial role.

Perhaps in America Executive Assistants are more common or the term Personal Assistant isn’t used. I’m sure PAs would argue that they are more than glorified secretaries but where are the boundaries?

Source: HBR

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