Exceptional EA


A thought for your day, with my good wishes …

Weekend Poll: Tell Me About Your Office’s Holiday 2017 Parties

It’s mid-October and, here in Canada, we celebrated our Thanksgiving a couple of weekends ago. While our neighbours south of the 49th Parallel will celebrate Thanksgiving on November 23rd, retailers have already begun flogging their Christmas and winter holidays wares.

This, despite the fact that Halloween trick-or-treaters won’t be out and about for another week ..now, that’s scary!

From an event planning perspective, though, it’s not too early to begin planning for December’s Christmas, Hanukkah and year-end celebrations.

With many corporate events on calendars for six to eight weeks from now, many EAs, MAs, PAs and office managers responsible for coordinating such events will already have such parties on their brains.

My third annual Weekend Poll on holiday event planning

Readers will see that this weekend’s poll contains similar questions to those I posed in 2015 and 2016. My plan is to provide a comparison between readers’ 2017 plans and budgets with those from 2015  and 2016 – which should give us interesting glimpses into how trends and practices compare year over year.

Are you ready? Here is this weekend’s poll:

How do you manage event planning for the 2017 holiday season?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below, and I’ll publish results next Tuesday. “Select” whichever responses apply, and remember to CLICK on the “VOTE” ICON AFTER EACH QUESTION.


A thought for your day, with my good wishes …

Weekend Poll Results: Workaholics

With thanks to all who participated, here are your responses to my question … Are you a workaholic?

One in four consider yourselves workaholics

In this poll, I asked readers to consider whether you’re high performers, workaholics, or whether you’ve achieved a happy medium.

Some good news: 48% of those who participated consider themselves to be high performers, and 21.5% have achieved a happy medium. A full 26%, though, identified as workaholics. The rest of you? 4.5% chose my tongue in cheek option, “What’s the difference?”


How long is your work day?

27% of participants reported that workload or events see you working longer than the traditional work day almost daily. Only 6% rarely or never do so. More than half of all who participated reported that you and your employer’s cleaning and/or security staff know one another’s names and/or faces.

Next, I asked readers how many hours you typically spend in the office each day. While expectations can vary from one region or sector to another, 8% of respondents reported that a typical day typically sees you spending seven to eight hours daily in the office. Another 30% see somewhere between eight and a half and nine hours as the norm.

At the other end of the spectrum, 27% of respondents – very slightly higher percentage than those who self-identified as workaholics – said they typically spend 10 or more hours at the office each work day.


Do you also work from home?

28.5% of respondents have this well in hand, with 11.5% saying they never spend additional time working at home, and 17% saying they rarely do so. Another 15% may do so only once a quarter, but 27% of respondents reported that you also work at home almost daily.


What about checking and responding to business emails from home?

It’s the norm, for 42% of respondents – and this extends beyond the typical work week, to include weekends. 25% of you report that you rarely or never do so, and another 15% of respondents report that you’re checking such emails from home five days a week. The rest are somewhere in between the two extremes.


… and what about compensation for these long hours?

48% of participants reported that you are not compensated for working above and beyond the stated schedule. More than a third of participants are compensated in time off, but only 18.5% typically take that accrued time. What about financial compensation, you ask? That’s available to 15% of the readers who responded.

Have a look the data, below, for full details.


Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options.  In instances where more than one person offers similar responses to an open ended question, I typically cluster or paraphrase such responses rather than duplicating all of them.

 Do you consider yourself a high performer or a workaholic? 

  • 48% of respondents: High performer
  • 26% of respondents: Workaholic
  • 21.5% of respondents: I’ve reached a happy medium
  • 4.5% of respondents: What’s the difference? 


 How many hours (rounded up to the half hour) do you typically spend in the office each day?  

  • 7 hours:  7% of respondents
  • 7.5 hours:  3% of respondents
  • 8 hours:  18% of respondents
  • 8.5 hours: 13% of respondents
  • 9 hours:  17% of respondents
  • 9.5 hours: 15% of respondents
  • 10 hours:  17% of respondents
  • 10.5 hours: 3% of respondents
  • 11 hours:  2% of respondents
  • 11.5 hours: 3% of respondents
  • 12 hours:  2% of respondents


How frequently do you also work from home? 

  • 27% of respondents: Almost daily
  • 17% of respondents: Rarely
  • 15% of respondents: Once or twice a quarter
  • 11.5% of respondents: Never
  • 11.5% of respondents: Three to five days a month
  • 6% of respondents: Once or twice a month
  • 6% of respondents: 11 to 15 days a month
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. Comments included the following.
    • I dont have VPN otherwise I would continue to work at home!
    • Currently our entire team works remotely. Our office will open next year.
    • I check emails only.


How frequently do you check and respond to business emails from home? 

  • 42% of respondents: Every day of the week, including weekends
  • 17% of respondents: Rarely
  • 15% of respondents: Five days/nights a week
  • 9% of respondents: Two days/nights a week
  • 8% of respondents: Never
  • 4% of respondents: One day/night a week
  • 2% of respondents: Three days/nights a week
  • 2% of respondents: Four nights weekly
  • 2% of respondents selected “Other”.


How frequently do workload or events require that you work longer than the traditional work day? 

  • 27% of respondents: Almost daily
  • 19% of respondents: Once or twice a month
  • 17% of respondents: Six to 10 days a month
  • 13% of respondents: Once or twice a quarter
  • 10% of respondents: 11 to 15 days a month
  • 6% of respondents: Three to five days a month
  • 4% of respondents: Rarely
  • 2% of respondents: Never
  • 2% of respondents: Twice a year


What’s the latest (rounded up to the next hour) you’ve ever worked in the evening? 

  • 6% of respondents: 6:00 p.m.
  • 10% of respondents: 7:00 p.m.
  • 11% of respondents: 8:00 p.m.
  • 19% of respondents: 9:00 p.m.
  • 13% of respondents: 10:00 p.m.
  • 10% of respondents: 11:00 p.m.
  • 7.5% of respondents: 12:00 a.m.
  • 4% of respondents: 1:00 a.m.
  • 2% of respondents: 2:00 a.m.
  • 7.5% of respondents: 3:00 a.m.
  • 10% of respondents: It’s not so much that I work late into the evening as much as that I start very early in the morning and work up to 12 hours


Are you more likely to work into the evening because of workload or meetings/events? 

  • 57% of respondents: Workload, including unexpected projects/situations
  • 22.5% of respondents: Events
  • 20.5% of respondents: Meetings


Are you compensated for hours worked above and beyond the stated schedule?  

  • 48% of respondents: No
  • 18.5% of respondents: Yes, I’m compensated in time off – and I take it
  • 18.5% of respondents: Yes, I’m compensated in time off – but don’t usually actually take the accrued time off
  • 15% of respondents: Yes, I’m financially compensated


 Do you and the evening cleaning staff and/or security staff know one another’s names/faces? 

  • 55% of respondents: Yes
  • 29% of respondents: No
  • 10% of respondents: No, but because I arrive extra early, the early morning cleaning &/or security staff and I know one another
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”.  Three readers commented to the effect that this wasn’t applicable, that the cleaners work during the day or that there are no cleaning staff.

Carys Stacey: Insights from London, England

Do you ever wonder how your career compares with those of admin. professionals from other countries and continents? Exceptional EA showcases Real Careers, in which administrators from around the globe generously share the benefit of their experience.  

We’ve made virtual trips to 23 countries in Africa, Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, the South Pacific and the UK – and I’ve interviewed more than a hundred women and men who have built strong administrative careers.

Today, we’re off to London, England to meet Carys Stacey, who is Executive Assistant to the Finance Director And Legal Director, Moët Hennessy Europe.

To see the insights she’s gained, click here or follow the drop-down lists under Real Careers and then check the drop-down list under England. 

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