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You Think You Get Weird Requests at Work?

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We’ve all gotten some weird requests at work, but these actual requests administrative professionals have received take the cake! Visit https://www.roberthalf.com/officeteam/industry-resources/office-of-the-future for more information about Office of the Future, a research project developed by OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

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You Think You Get Weird Requests at Work?

  1. 1. © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. officeteam.com You Think You Get Weird Requests at Work? Strangest Requests Administrative Professionals Have Received
  2. 2. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) asked more than 2,000 administrative professionals to recount the wackiest requests they’ve received at work. Here are a few of the most unusual responses:
  3. 3. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Cut off the boss’s tie that was caught in the paper shredder.”
  4. 4. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Help land a helicopter on top of the building.”
  5. 5. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Mail a box of dirt.”
  6. 6. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Translate a presentation slide deck from German to English.”
  7. 7. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Write a skit about hand-washing.”
  8. 8. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Communicate between two executives who were not speaking to each other.”
  9. 9. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Send an email to staff explaining how to flush the toilet properly.”
  10. 10. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Monitor and track odor complaints in the new building.”
  11. 11. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Assemble a power washer.”
  12. 12. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Take samples of toilet paper from all the office bathrooms and compare them.”
  13. 13. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Organize a hula-hoop competition for executive staff.” Although administrative professionals often help with company events, they couldn’t have planned for these requests: “Find toy stick horses for a Western-themed event.” “Purchase and assemble Christmas trees in seven office locations.”
  14. 14. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. “Decorate a roasted pig for a department luau.” “Rent a nun costume for an event.” “Get 150 pairs of logoed earmuffs for a party the next day.”
  15. 15. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. Others worked with a bunch of animals -- literally: “Get a snake out of the women’s bathroom.” “Take care of the office’s pet snails.” “Find two-inch plastic monkeys and order 500 of them.” “Remove nesting geese from the front door area.”
  16. 16. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. For some assistants, the requests were travel-related: “Call airport security to locate a lost shoe.” “Get a visa to India in two hours.” “Give driving directions to a cab driver in a different state.” “Call a hotel in London to request soft pillows for the CEO.”
  17. 17. Source: OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of 2,290 administrative professionals in the U.S. and Canada © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. About the Study The findings are part of Office of the Future, a new research project from OfficeTeam and IAAP that examines evolving workplace trends impacting administrative professionals. Access an infographic highlighting additional survey results, a cheat sheet for writing effective job descriptions and the latest Office of the Future insights at officeteam.com/ootf.
  18. 18. © 2014 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. About OfficeTeam: OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. officeteam.com About the International Association of Administrative Professionals: The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) is the world’s largest association for administrative support staff, with more than 450 chapters and approximately 16,000 members worldwide.

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