Posted: 21 Apr. 2021 5 min. read

Every Team has an EA at its Heart

21 April 2021 is EA (Executive Assistant) Day – originally formed in the US, this day is now renowned globally to recognise all types of administrative professional roles. Our outstanding EAs across the firm support our partners, directors and teams in a variety of ways, helping the business to run effectively and supporting our people in delivering for our clients.

The unsung heroes of Deloitte, our EAs make us feel proud everyday but now, more than ever, is a time to show appreciation for the support and commitment our EAs provide throughout the year. In our 'new normal', their already demanding roles have become that bit more challenging.

Without our Executive Assistants (EAs) supporting us all behind the scenes and holding it all together, it wouldn't be possible. We caught up with Liz Bain, one of our Executive Assistant’s from the Aberdeen office. We quickly learn Liz isn’t your ‘typical’ EA…
 

We know that a big part of being an EA is adapting to changing priorities, but could you tell us what a day in the life of an EA working from home might entail? 

My typical day would be setting up my work station in the kitchen, checking my to do list, prioritising what I need to do first and then checking my emails. Every day there is an urgent action to be dealt with in my inbox which throws me the first challenge of the day. Often I am juggling five, sometimes more projects all at once, dealing with many different departments, on top of trying to do the normal EA responsibilities. 

Often before I know it, it is lunch time, I then try make something to eat and head on outside for a break, especially when the sun is shining. My days seem to tick away so quickly! I do however look forward to 5.30pm every day - this is when I pack away the work station and don’t see it again until the next day. This is one area where I have improved as I make sure I close off my laptop at 5.30pm. When working in the office, I used to have to be told to go home. 

My biggest frustration is IT, me and Technology do not see ‘eye-to-eye’! This is one of the most challenging aspects of working from home.

Other than that, I am not sure my work day has changed that much from working in the office. The biggest difference is I prioritise a lot more ‘me time’, which I didn’t before.
 

How do you ensure that you stay motivated while working from home?

The radio goes on as soon as I get up and I switch between different stations as some can be so repetitive. I am singing from early morning to the end of the day, no one to judge me or tell me to turn the radio down or off. This absolutely motivates me to get through the day at home. The dogs, well now one dog, Sammy (we recently lost our senior dog Alaska to cancer), is forever popping in to put her head on my lap for a cuddle (I think she’s like “is it time yet, can we go walk”). Most evenings, I take her to our local lake, it is only about 2.5km but she loves it.  The swans and ducks are nesting at the moment, so this gives me great pleasure to watch them. 

Also, my varied tasks in respect of what I do and the involvement with lots of different projects that my team involve me in, keep me motivated.

                       

Good relationships with colleagues can influence the happiness and success of an EA. How do you cultivate good working relationships with your team while working from home?

I encourage my colleagues to pick up the phone if there is an urgent matter, rather than sending me an IM or an email (my inbox is madness as I am on most Business Tax client take-ons so I get lots of emails). I can also sense when someone is not feeling right and I try to pick up the phone and speak to them or drop them an IM offering a shoulder to cry on, ear to listen and just let them know, I won’t judge and that I am here for them.  I would like to think that I have a great relationship with my colleagues, even be it virtually.
 

What do you enjoy about working from home? What are some of the advantages?

Every day is a washing day! It gives me such pleasure to hang up the washing in the morning (weather permitted) and then be able to take it in before it gets damp again. I am finding that I am making so much more time for me, to do what I want to do, when I want to do it and not have time factors to worry about. I love the fact that on nice sunny days, I just walk outside for some fresh air, and can sit there for an extra few minutes and know that it is ok, just to breath and think.  I can sing as loud and as offbeat as I want - this is a great stress relief for me.

I look so forward to the Webinars by Richard Houston and Matt Ellis, in my 11 years with the Firm, I have never met face-to-face and on the Webinars, we get to put names to faces. Thank you to the Firm for treating each and every one of us with respect and honesty.
 

What do you miss about the office?

Honestly, the only thing I miss about being in the office, is at the end of a tough day, rounding up colleagues and heading out to the local pub (‘McNasty’s’) for an ice-cold beer. Bearing in mind that if I was still in Aberdeen by myself the past eight months and not with my family, I think I would have missed everything about being in the office.
 

Hip Hip Hooray!

We hope you take this opportunity to celebrate this special day with the EAs you work with!

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