How Can Copilot Do the Job of an Executive Assistant?

It’s no secret that busy execs can often struggle to find time to keep on top of administrative tasks. They often need a little helping hand in the office… but does that hand always have to be human?

Behind every great executive is a great executive assistant. Between multiple meetings, frequent business travel, and critical decision-making, it’s not unusual for some tasks to get pushed to the back burner. Executive assistants are those essential assets that make sure everything gets done. 

However, with an ongoing labour shortage, businesses are looking into ways to get more value from their skilled talent. And an important question they’re beginning to ask is this: how can we free up our executive assistants to take on more responsibility, while still ensuring everything runs smoothly? 

The answer is simpler than you may think. 

The starting point is to consider the three main duties of executive assistants:

  1. Managing administrative and office-based tasks effectively and efficiently
  2. Communicating clearly and professionally, both internally and externally
  3. Handling all aspects of scheduling, appointment-making, and logistics

When we look at it like this, it’s easy to see how AI-powered tools like Copilot could meet the criteria. 

Exploring Copilot’s capabilities

Microsoft Copilot is emerging as a powerful solution that could lend executives a helping hand when they need it… even if that hand looks a little different! Here are 6 ways Copilot could step in to help:

1. Scheduling meetings

The beauty of Copilot is that, because it’s integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem, it has access to all your Microsoft Graph data. This means it can automatically identify times that participants are available, and it can even suggest potential participants based on the title of the meeting. For example, if you’re arranging a financial review, it may suggest users from the financial department. 

2. Preparing for meetings

Forgotten what your upcoming meeting is about? Copilot acts as an executive assistant, providing a brief yet informative overview of what’s coming up. Copilot can remind you of who’s participating, confirm the purpose of the meeting, and even summarise the agenda (or create one from scratch!). It does all this by searching the Microsoft ecosystem for relevant files, documents, emails, chats, and more. 

3. Summarising meetings

When meetings are held digitally using Microsoft Teams, Copilot is able to summarise the key points made, as well as the outcomes and actions. Want to keep track of which participant made which point? No problem. Need to easily see which questions were left unanswered? Simple. Copilot can even summarise the mood of the meeting, and provide a timeline of proposed resolutions. 

4. Filtering emails

Not all emails were made equal. Some will naturally be more important and/or urgent than others, and executive assistants are often tasked with filtering out the noise and prioritising communications. With access to Outlook, Copilot can automate this process, summarising threads to provide snappy overviews, and empowering busy execs to address the right email at the right time. 

5. Managing communications

Copilot is a form of generative AI, which means it’s capable of crafting unique content based on the data housed within Microsoft. When responding to an email in Outlook, Copilot will automatically make suggestions by analysing context, recent emails, and other relevant information. This can save executives a huge amount of time, without compromising on the quality of the communication. 

6. Analysing data sets

In this world of big data, businesses are starting to realise that it’s not the data itself that matters; it’s the insight that data enables them to gain. This means it’s crucial to have the means to analyse data and draw understanding from it. Until now, this has been the job of an executive assistant. But AI-powered tools like Copilot can identify patterns that the human eye can’t always see… and they do it fast. 

Will AI take over assistant roles?

That depends on what each organisation needs. For businesses that are trying to significantly reduce costs, leveraging the power of AI can help to fill gaps in the workforce without hiring full-time staff. Other businesses may be more focused on maximising value. They might be utilising Copilot for mundane yet time-consuming tasks while freeing up talented assistants for activities that need the human touch. 

Whatever the reason, AI tools are addressing some of the biggest challenges we’re facing today, such as heavy workloads and staff burnout. And for those organisations that are already using Microsoft – or are thinking about it – Copilot makes perfect sense as it’s fully integrated into the environment. 

Interested in finding out more about Copilot for your business? Get in touch with us here at Reliable. 

Gregory Olczyk

Gregory Olczyk