Diversified Communications UK: office* Show Announces the Results of National PA Survey 2016

If your job title reflected your actual responsibilities, what would it be? (Photo: Business Wire)

STOCKHOLM--()--Diversified Communications UK, organiser of office* – the UK’s leading annual two day exhibition and conference for PAs, EAs, VAs, secretaries, office managers and executive support professionals, has released a summary of the results of this year’s National PA Survey.

The latest findings of the survey (which is now in its sixth year) are being unveiled to mark National PA Day on 11 May. Survey highlights will also be distributed at office*, which opens tomorrow at 9am at ExCeL London.

Completed by 1,000 PAs working in business and industry, finance, education, and the public and not-for-profit sectors, the 2016 survey certainly revealed some surprising results. Particularly about the way that the profession sees itself from the outside looking in – with only 12% saying that they felt that being a PA was respected as a professional career choice by ‘society in general’. It is this strength of feeling and perceived lack of professional recognition that first led to the launch of National PA Day in 2011.

Whilst the PA role has evolved almost unrecognisably over the last 10-20 years, many outdated attitudes, particularly around specific job responsibilities, persist. Notably, over half of this year’s surveyed PAs have been in their role for over 11 years (27% for over 21 years), so will have witnessed these changes first hand.

To highlight how the reality of the PA role differs from the perception of the role and its responsibilities, Diversified UK asked PAs to outline their day-to-day activities, versus what they believed other people thought they did.

Perhaps unsurprising making tea and coffee, filing documents, and answering the phone revealed the greatest discrepancies between the two ‘perspectives’; with PAs saying that they actually spend more time on project management, HR, and managing budgets than those three duties combined. Only diary management and arranging meeting for bosses secured a majority on both lists.

“I don't think people really know what I do!” commented one senior PA, whilst others said their colleagues thought that everything from fixing faulty office equipment to providing ad hoc support to the whole office, fell inside their remit.

The 2016 survey also reaffirmed last year’s findings that the number of bosses/managers being supported by a sole PA is on the rise – with a significant 49% of PAs reporting an increase.

In 2011, a quarter of PAs supported over 3 managers. That figure hit 40% for 2015. Of the 49% of PAs that reported an increase this year, 69% now support 1-2 additional bosses since they first started their present role. That means their workload has at least doubled. For a further 19% of PAs it’s tripled and for 12% it’s quadrupled.

Yet only one in five of them has received a pay increase for this extra work.

If you could work for anyone as a PA, who would it be?

Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, always proves rather popular in surveys. Among others, he’s been voted most admired business leader, the people’s choice for prime minister, and, last year, he was named most ‘inspirational person’ in Diversified UK’s office* show poll (ahead of Karren Brady CBE and HM Queen Elizabeth II). For 2016, Britain’s PAs have named him their ideal boss (beating even their current bosses into second place).

The eclectic top ten, compiled from results from this year’s survey, include The Queen (3), President Barack Obama (4), Prime Minister David Cameron (5), Oprah Winfrey (6), David and Victoria Beckham (7), Karren Brady CBE (=8), Boris Johnson MP (=8), and Lord Alan Sugar (=8).

National PA Day 2016

As in previous years, thousands of PAs are gathering in London at office* tomorrow to celebrate National PA Day. The two-day event features 110 exhibitors, free Keynotes, expert training and essential networking opportunities.

“There are an estimated 650,000 people working across the UK in a PA role – and although their job titles may vary and the industries that they support can be worlds apart – together their profession contributes positively to the productivity of every single part of the economy. National PA Day on 11 May 2016 is the perfect way to celebrate their achievements and to encourage greater support and recognition of the individuals working within one of the biggest and most important professions in the UK,” says Carsten Holm, managing director of Diversified Communications UK.

office* will take place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 11-12 May. For further information and to register for free entry, please visit www.officeshow.co.uk and quote priority code DVIS14 (direct link: https://registration.n200.com/survey/3lzwzu5vhccmo?actioncode=DVIS14). Entry to the Keynote Theatre and office* Theatre 4 is included with all tickets (spaces permitting).

office* opening times are 9am to 5pm on Wednesday and Thursday, 11-12 May (last entry one hour before close).

Results of the 6th annual National PA Survey

A sample of the results can be found below. The full report will be available at www.officeshow.co.uk later this month. To download the infographic, please visit www.officeshow.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/National_PA_Survey_2016.pdf.

How many years have you been in your role as a PA, EA, VA or Secretary?

Less than a year 5%

1-3 years 15%

4-10 years 28%

11-20 years 26%

21-30 years 16%

31-40 years 9%

40 years or more 2%

Has the number of bosses you support increased, decreased or stayed the same since you first started in your role?

Increased 49%

Decreased 14%

Stayed the same 37%

By how many?

1 additional boss 35%

2 additional bosses 34%

3 additional bosses 19%

4 or more additional bosses 12%

Do you feel your pay has increased to reflect this increase?

Yes 19%

No 72%

Not sure 9%

The role of the PA is perceived in different ways by different people. Do you feel your job is respected as a professional career choice by:

Junior colleagues 44%

Senior colleagues 37%

Your boss 61%

Your friends and family 52%

Society in general 12%

None of the above 10%

The role of the PA is always evolving. Which of these traditional responsibilities make up the largest part of your job? And, which do other people think you mostly do in your job?

  It’s part of my role   Others think I do this
Note taking in meetings and writing up after the meeting 37% 57%
Diary management for your boss 87% 81%
Filing of documents 7% 48%
Typing up presentations, letters and documents for other people 23% 46%
Make tea or coffee for your boss 5% 53%
Arrange meetings for your boss 76% 81%
Answering the phone for your boss and others 24% 70%
Greeting visitors 10% 50%

Which of these non-traditional assistant responsibilities are part of your job? And, which do other people think you mostly do in your job?

  It’s part of my role   Others think I do this
Project management 60% 13%
Manage budgets 41% 9%
Marketing or promotional activities 35% 10%
HR 47% 16%
Development of processes and company strategy 35% 6%
Change management 25% 6%
Interior design of the office 31% 10%
Presentations to internal and external audiences 32% 11%

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average UK salary is £27,271. Is your pay:

Below this salary 29%

Around the same (within £500 either way)

16% Above this salary 55%

If you could work for anyone as a PA, who would it be?

1 Sir Richard Branson

2 My boss

3 The Queen

4 President Barack Obama

5 Prime Minister David Cameron

6 Oprah Winfrey

7 David and Victoria Beckham

8= Karren Brady

8= Boris Johnson

8= Lord Alan Sugar

For further information, please visit www.officeshow.co.uk.

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Notes:

office* won ‘Best PA Industry Event’ 2014 at pa-assist.com’s Members Voice Awards in 2014. office* was shortlisted for ‘Best UK Trade Show Exhibition (under 2,000m2)’ at the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) Excellence Awards in both 2013 and 2014.

Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, and Nailsworth. Diversified UK’s event portfolio includes office*; British Tourism & Travel Show; Accountex; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; Casual Dining; lunch!; Commercial Kitchen; Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair and Natural Products Scandinavia in Malmö, Sweden; camexpo; Geo Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; and Coach & Bus Live. For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk.

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries. For more information, visit: www.divcom.com.

This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com

Contacts

Diversified Communications UK
Media enquiries and press pass requests:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
Editorial representatives of relevant media (including freelancers) are invited to apply for press passes to office* via email to ejones@divcom.co.uk.
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
e: ejones@divcom.co.uk
Website: www.divcom.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DiversifiedUK
or
office* exhibitor enquiries:
Sarah Cooper, Event Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645143
e: scooper@divcom.co.uk
Website: www.officeshow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/officeshow
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/office/116716991701373
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3319575
or
David Maguire, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645127
e: dmaguire@divcom.co.uk

Contacts

Diversified Communications UK
Media enquiries and press pass requests:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
Editorial representatives of relevant media (including freelancers) are invited to apply for press passes to office* via email to ejones@divcom.co.uk.
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
e: ejones@divcom.co.uk
Website: www.divcom.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DiversifiedUK
or
office* exhibitor enquiries:
Sarah Cooper, Event Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645143
e: scooper@divcom.co.uk
Website: www.officeshow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/officeshow
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/office/116716991701373
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3319575
or
David Maguire, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645127
e: dmaguire@divcom.co.uk