When you have a job as important as that of an administrative assistant it is a good idea to have a backup plan in case you cannot make it in to work. Things happen right? You get sick, your car breaks down, emergencies happen – so make sure that when it does happen the office is not going to be left high and dry.
So what should you do?
First think of all the tasks that you do that absolutely must be taken care of every day. The phones need to be answered. Mail needs to be taken care of. Filling needs to be done. What else do you do on a regular basis? Do you need to manage projects? Do you need to put in orders? Send out invoices?
Once you have compiled a list of things that you need to do you need to find people that can take care of those things for you. Keep in mind that no one person is going to be able to leave all of their duties behind to do your job so break it into smaller tasks.
Have one person answer the phone from 9 am to 11 am. Find another person to answer the phone from 11 am to 1 pm. And so on. They can forward the main phone line into their office if there is a phone system in place that allows people to forward calls from their offices. If there is not you may have to have just one person work from your desk for the day or have two people split the job into morning and afternoon.
Remember that each person that takes on one of your jobs will need to be familiar with the job so take the time to train them and then have detailed instructions available. Project related tasks are best assigned to people that are already on the project and understand it. Is there someone on the project team that has shown that they work hard and can handle the extra responsibility for a day or two?
Finally, you will want to make sure that others in the office know who will be in charge of important details when you are gone. Draft an email to someone who will be aware of your absence so that they can send out an email to everyone that should be notified of your absence. In that email make sure to include phone numbers and email addresses of the people who are helping you.
Having a backup plan is a great way to make sure that others in the office do not suffer. But remember that you co-workers will need to have a backup plan as well, so return the favor and help out others when they are sick as well.