Senior secretaries are now working an average day of more than nine hours – and reaping the financial benefits.
Recruitment specialist Reed claims more than 40 per cent of secretaries work more than nine hours a day, and seven per cent of those employed by financial companies work 11 hours or more.
And Reed has warned a shortage of skilled secretaries could push their wages up still further.
Employers say they expect secretarial salaries to rise by 3.4 per cent over the next year unchanged from last year. But Reed service delivery director Martin Fallon said, "Our study of the skills shortage shows employers are wrong.
"Some 56 per cent of organisations have found a shortage of skilled applicants for vacancies - this is the first rise for two years. This will force salaries upwards."
Senior PAs and executive secretaries are already gaining above-inflation salary increases of at least three or four per cent. Those with internet experience can earn even more.
Secretaries are also taking much shorter lunch breaks, with less than half taking a full hour and around one in six taking less than half an hour.