A department secretary is typically responsible for a wide range of clerical work and for facilitating communication between different members of a department. Much of this work involves the creation and use of typed documents, often using various computer programs, which are provided to other individuals within the department. Filing and organization of paperwork can also be a major aspect of the work done by a department secretary, though much of this has become computerized. Communication between different people within a business can also take place through a secretary, who may be responsible for overseeing intra-office messages and relaying information to various employees.
The duties performed by a department secretary can vary quite a bit, depending on the nature of the business that he or she works for. In general, however, a great deal of the work performed in this position involves the creation and organization of various documents needed by the company. A manager might write up a schedule for a department by hand and then provide it to the department secretary to type it up. These types of interactions are fairly common, and so the secretary may be relied upon to assist others with the completion of goals and tasks as necessary.
Filing and organization of physical documents can also be a vital part of the work performed by a department secretary. While these types of duties may seem trivial at times, it is extremely important that paperwork and records can be found and used when needed. If an employee needs to be able to find financial paperwork for a client, for example, then proper filing and organization can mean a difference in hours of work to find it.
Digital information has replaced physical paperwork in many ways, however, so much of this type of filing has diminished. A department secretary may be expected to create physical backup of digital files and organize them in a reliable manner. Proper labeling and filing of these types of backup records may require coordination between a secretary and Information Technology (IT) employees at a company.
A department secretary may also be expected to assist with communication within an office or other place of business. Email and improved phone technology has made interactions between employees easier than ever before, but a secretary can still be important for relaying information. The schedule that a department secretary was asked to type, for example, might need to be emailed to each employee afterward. Incoming phone calls can also be received by a secretary and then forwarded as appropriate throughout a business.