An office automation assistant is the title of a common administrative support position within the United States government. Such varied agencies and departments as the Department of the Interior, Department of Labor, Veterans Health Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Department of Agriculture hire people as office automation assistants. These federal employees are responsible for a range of administrative duties that aid the work of the agency in which they are employed.
Office Automation Assistant
Office automation assistants facilitate office communication and maintain a professional work environment. They may answer telephone calls, forward calls, take messages, receive visitors to the office and escort visitors while they are in the office. Office automation assistants may answer emails and letters of a general nature, fulfill general requests for information, forward technical or specialized correspondence to the most indicated person and distribute outside mail to the office staff. In addition, office automation assistants distribute inter-office communications and maintain the office bulletin board.
Information and Production
Office automation assistants are responsible for producing and improving written materials. They may write, format and edit reports, letters, forms, memoranda and other types of documents. They maintain records and files, in physical or electronic formats, including office time sheets and attendance records, and transmit them as directed. Office automation assistants also update manuals and office procedural instructions as needed.
Planning and Provision
Office automation assistants plan and provision for staff members to travel on official business as well as the regular operation of the office. They may prepare itineraries, arrange for transportation, make hotel reservations and travel bookings, gather travel authorizations, prepare travel vouchers and other travel-related tasks. They may prepare briefs and presentation materials for staff in preparation for their trip. Office automation assistants also estimate the need for office supplies, take requests for special items, follow the established procedures to procure supplies and then distribute the supplies. Office automation assistants follow the established procedures to arrange for repair technicians when there are problems with any of the office equipment.
Clerical and Administration
Office automation assistants fulfill the office’s clerical needs. They may be asked to type documents, record dictation, take meeting minutes, make photocopies, send faxes, file papers and replenish office supplies. (In fact, a typing speed of 40 words per minute or faster is a requirement of the job.) In addition, office automation assistants must perform the duties of other clerical staff when they are absent.