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Administrative Tasks: What They Are and Most Common Administrative Tasks In the Workplace

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated 10 Sept 2021

Guide Overview

What are administrative tasks?CommunicationSchedulingOnboardingBookkeepingOrganisationComputer/technologyOther administration duties

Guide Overview

Administrative tasks in the workplace

Administrative tasks are duties completed by administrative professionals, such as administrative and executive assistants, in the workplace. These tasks vary widely but most often include duties such as answering and directing phone calls, filing information, and managing office supply needs. Here we explore what administrative tasks are and some of the most common administrative duties completed by administrative professionals in the workplace.

What are administrative tasks?

Administrative tasks are duties related to maintaining an office setting. These duties vary widely from workplace to workplace but most often include tasks such as scheduling appointments, answering phones, greeting visitors, and maintaining organised file systems for the organisation. Several professionals are required to perform administrative duties, including office assistants, administrative assistants, executive assistants, secretaries, and office managers.

Most common administrative tasks by category

The following are the most in-demand administrative tasks divided by category:


Administrative professionals must have strong communication skills to complete their job duties in an effective manner. From answering the phones to writing emails to interacting with employees and managers, these professionals should be able to clearly and concisely relay information to others. Here are common administrative duties related to communication:

  • Answering and transferring phone calls
  • Taking phone messages from clients
  • Sending emails to clients
  • Forwarding emails from clients to the appropriate recipient
  • Handling client concerns and complaints
  • Business correspondence
  • Greeting visitors in the office
  • Sending emails
  • Completing customer service tasks such as placing orders for customers and explaining products and services
  • Writing in shorthand
  • Communicating with upper management
  • Communicating with other employees


Scheduling is another major component of an administrative professional’s work duties. Many administrative assistants are in charge of a manager’s or multiple managers’ work schedules and will need to be able to successfully organise and plan each person’s schedule in a way that’s effective and allows for everything to get done with sufficient amount of time for each item on the schedule. The following are the most common scheduling tasks an administrative employee may participate in:

  • Coordinating events, such as planning office parties or client dinners
  • Scheduling appointments for clients
  • Scheduling appointments for supervisors and/or employers
  • Planning team or company-wide meetings
  • Planning company-wide events, such as luncheons or out-of-office team-building activities
  • Booking travel itineraries for management, employees, or job candidates
  • Scheduling conference or meeting rooms for in-office meetings


Some administrative professionals may also participate in the onboarding of new employees. They may work alongside the human resources department or they may be part of the department, such as in the role of a human resources assistant. Common duties that fall under the category of onboarding for administrative employees include:

  • Welcoming new hires to the office and show them around so they can get acquainted with the workspace
  • Providing new employees with all relevant documentation needed, such as the employee handbook, paperwork that needs to be completed on the first day of employment, and information regarding office policies and procedures and employee benefits
  • Helping new hires complete the paperwork necessary to apply for benefits like health insurance and pension plans
  • Introducing the new employee to other employees and management, especially those who will be on the new hire’s direct team
  • Showing the new employee where all office supplies can be found and how to request more supplies if necessary
  • Demonstrating how office-wide software is used and where to find relevant records and files that will be needed for the employee’s position
  • Helping the new hire get set up with their company email


Some people in administrative roles will have the responsibility of handling bookkeeping tasks. This is especially true in smaller offices where there is not a separate employee whose primary role is to oversee the bookkeeping of the organisation. Bookkeeping tasks an administrative professional may be responsible for include:

  • Recording daily incoming and outgoing transactions
  • Updating office accounts via online programs such as QuickBooks
  • Processing payments from clients
  • Reconciling financial reports
  • Composing financial reports on a weekly or monthly basis
  • Keeping track of receipts of office expenses or expenses incurred by managers or executives
  • Providing reimbursement to employees for work-related expenses
  • Creating invoices for customers
  • Completing payroll tasks


Organisation is a primary factor in many administrative assistant’s daily duties. These professionals must be able to successfully handle various appointments, calendars, meetings, and other events in an effective manner to ensure the office continues to run efficiently. Common administrative duties that fall under the category of organisation include:

  • Maintaining calendars for executives and upper management
  • Sorting through and delivering mail to the appropriate recipients in the office
  • Taking regular inventory of office supplies
  • Organising office files in a way that can be easily accessed and understood by employees
  • Filing various documents both on the computer and in filing cabinets


Most administrative professionals will regularly use a computer and various types of technology and software to complete their duties. They also need to know how to use several types of office equipment like printer and fax machines. Here are several administrative duties related to computers and technology:

  • Using programs from the Microsoft Office Suite, such as Word and PowerPoint
  • Maintaining office equipment including scanners, fax machines, printers, and telephones
  • Utilising publishing software such as WordPress to update the company’s website or blog
  • Ordering office supplies when the inventory is running low
  • Performing research online
  • Using billing and time software to input information for clients and/or employees
  • Dictating meeting notes
  • Preparing for online conferences using video conference software
  • Transcribing various forms of information and storing it in a computer-based file
  • Running various types of office machinery such as fax machines, copiers, and printers
  • Managing office documentation using computer-based documentation software

Other administration duties

Additional administrative tasks an administrative professional may be responsible for include:

  • Completing research projects for upper management related to various issues such as competitors, regulations and laws, and details about professional associations
  • Maintaining social media accounts for the organisation
  • Helping with the departure of an employee such as by performing an exit interview
  • Gathering and organisation paperwork on all employees
  • Updating internal organisation documents like employee handbooks
  • Sending out company-wide emails
  • Setting up meeting rooms for upcoming meetings

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