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Admin pools

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Question: Does anyone have information on "admin pools" (when a group of administrative assistants work together as a team and report to a senior assistant)? If you are a member of an admin pool or the supervisor of one, I would love to hear your feedback on what you feel are the pros and cons of this type of arrangement. How do you like it in comparison to the traditional arrangement of working solo, reporting to management?  -- Amy, Massachusetts


We used to have an admin pool until all management kept going to certain people with their work. It wasn't fair and on the flip side, admins would "fish" through the basket to see what they felt like doing. It was distributed unevenly until we got assigned certain managers, etc. to report to.

I started a group called AdminNet at my current company. It's comprised of 24 administrative/executive assistants across the alliance of our companies. We started in November '05 and are currently meeting once a quarter to establish our quarterly objectives.

Our current objective is to establish a system of sharing information, resources, and materials that is expedient, effecient, and cost effective.

We are moving forward and gaining momentum. It's amazing to see this group come together and support the companys' initiatives and support all employees.

Hope this of help. Please contact me if you have any questions.


I used to be the Office Manager at a couple of different organizations, and all the admins reported to me. As long as the "team" works as a team, then it can be a very effective and powerful group in providing high quality support to the company. Fortunately, through consistent communication and evaluating each admin's skill set, we were able to provide excellent administrative service to the company. We had the mentality that we supported the company, not just one or two people. And the more we assisted each other, the more of a unified group we became. We were able to utilize each other's talents in order to reach our respective department and company goals. It was pretty cool.

Now, I am an Executive Assistant for the same company as Leo (comment above), and he's done an excellent job organizing AdminNet and the administrators of an alliance of six companies. We are able to draw from each others experiences, skills and resources, which in turn makes us each a strong support system for our own departments/companies. No one has all the answers, but through the cooperation of administrators in AdminNet, we can usually find the answers.

I think the bottom line is that we have to work as a team. If there's competition in who's going to outshine another one, then there could be jealous problems and uncooperation.

Our admin pool worked pretty well and unlike the first person we did not have the problem where people pulled assignments or management went to only a certain person. All assignments from department heads went to our office manager who then distributed the projects. WE ALL, on occassion had tedious not so fun projects and the really fast paced fun projects to do. The office manager made sure the work distribution was fair and distributed projects by the estimated time and difficutly of the project and who was on the rotation for the everyday mudane office work for that week.
There are 11 assistants, one receptionist plus our office manager in our division and I feel everyone in our division agrees the main goal is to work together as a team so the work project is accurate and complete on or before the due date needed. Hope this helps you

I have worked both individually and as a team and definitely prefer working individually.
The Team only works if all members act like a team and have equal distribution of work. Unfortunately, that is not what my experience has been. The team consisted of one person with higher skill levels and knowledge of the business, one with moderate, and one with low skill level. At first management tried to distribute work evenly and asked that those who knew how to do the work, train the others. That didn't last long. The higher skilled person got the majority of the work because management knew it would get done properly, the others got less. This resulted in everyone being disgruntled.
Good Luck!

We too had an Admin Pool until just recently when we were disbanded by Management because of growing animosity amongst the admins. I thought it was an excellent idea and offered a great value to the firm. However, if all the Admins cannot work together as a team, then it becomes counterproductive. Good luck!

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