A Day In The Life Of An Office Manager

Job Duties Of An Office Manager

Managerial DutiesFirst and foremost the responsibility of an office manager is to, you guessed it, manage the office employees. The extent of an office managers managerial responsibilities depend on your organizations industry, size, and structure. Typically, office managers are responsible for developing procedures and implementing, evaluating, improving, and communicating with the office workforce about those procedures. Office managers are often responsible for supervising junior admin, operations, and human resources staff.Administrative DutiesAgain the scope of admin duties greatly depends on the type of business an office manager is working for. Most positions involve developing and maintaining filing systems and record keeping systems. Additional responsibilities include filling in for receptionists, managing supplies, and identifying & fulfilling the needs of various staff members. Scheduling, planning meetings, and maintaining a clean & safe work environment often falls under the scope of what an office manager is responsible for.Financial & Human Resources DutiesSmaller companies often need office managers to wear many hats. This can often mean that office managers are required to manage expenses, budgets, petty cash, payroll, and handle billing. If a time tracking system is used, office managers will often be responsible for maintaining it. If the organization is small enough, there probably won't be an HR department. In this situation, the office manager may be responsible for handling new hire paperwork and communication of policies.

Required Skills & Experience

Due to the diverse nature of the work an office manager does, the required skills to succeed are also quite diverse. You'll often see job postings for office managers with required skills that read like a list of superhuman characteristics. Good communication skills are important.Skills You'll Need To Succeed As An Office Manager:

  • Good Communication
  • Good Judgment
  • Problem Solving
  • Quick Decision Making
  • Time Management
  • Attention to Detail
  • Planning and Organization
  • Good At Delegating
  • Leadership & Coaching Ability
  • Strong Initiative
  • Good Moral Compass & Integrity
  • Highly Adaptable
  • Works Well With Teams
  • Proficient in MS Office & Other Systems
  • Capable Managing Budgets
  • Knowledge of business and management principles

Experience Employers May Require:

  • Hiring Experience
  • Supervising Staff
  • Experience Developing Standards
  • Managing Supplies & Inventory
  • Process Improvement
  • Accounting
  • Administrative Experience
  • Management Experience
  • Clerical Experience
  • Knowledge of HR Management

Who You'll Work With

There are so many companies with so much variety of employees there's no way to know for sure who you'll be working with while in an office manager role. It's fair to assume that you'll work closely with individuals in administrative, operational, and human resources roles. You may also work closely with sales and customer service staff.

  • HR Assistant
  • HR Generalist
  • HR Coordinator
  • Receptionist
  • Office Assistant
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Office Coordinator
  • Data Entry Associate
  • Facilities Manager
  • Marketing Assistant
  • Operations Assistant
  • Sales Representative

Common Mistakes

  1. Micromanaging - It can be difficult to give up control. Avoid micromanaging your team to save yourself, and them a great deal of time and headaches. A good way to fix this is with feedback.
  2. Not Providing or Being Receptive to Feedback - Giving constructive feedback on a regular basis helps employees understand what they can improve upon. Creating a process for giving and receiving feedback will help ease the tension of what might otherwise be seen as "complaining".
  3. Focusing on the Negative - When things are going well we can sometimes focus too much on the negative. Be sure to give credit where it's due and take time to focus on accomplishments.
  4. Rushing Recruitment - You may feel a lot of pressure as the office manager to make a hire. Don't fold to this pressure. Make sure you're hiring the best you can find.
  5. Giving Orders Instead of Leading - Being a boss is a lot different than being a leader. Lead by example and guide your team through the career landscape.
  6. Not Listening - A lot of mistakes can happen just by simply not listening. As a leader, being a good listener is even more important.
  7. Failing to Define Goals - Your team needs motivation. Without goals to achieve your team may lack motivation.
  8. Misunderstanding Motivation - Not understanding what motivates your team can cause problems as well. Aside from the goals you set, individuals have their own motivations. Understanding your staffs personal, professional, and organizational goals & motivations will help you make better management decisions.
  9. Being Too Friendly/Lacking Boundaries - It's easy to want to become friends with the people you work with. As the office manager, you need to be careful about personal boundaries. Going to happy hour with the team is a lot different than hanging out on the weekends. It's better to be too professional than too personal.
  10. Not Making Time For Your Team - Make sure you treat your team when they succeed. Keeping an entire office happy requires recognition from management.
  11. Open Door Policy - This can work for some workplaces but for the most part, it causes a decrease in productivity. A better policy is to have scheduled open door time or
  12. Not Delegating - There are only so many hours in a day. Delegating everyday tasks will help you stay focused on managing the whole office.

Most Rewarding Aspects

As an office manager, you'll witness the individual development of each team member. As these employees learn and grow, you'll be a part of that. As the team develops new skills and accomplishes goals you share in those accomplishments. If you're able to master the skills necessary to be a great leader, your career as an office manager could be quite rewarding.

A Sample Day

  • Get to the office before anyone else.
  • Unlock the office doors.
  • Make coffee or tea for the office. Make sure kitchen supplies are stocked.
  • Straighten up the office if any messes were left from the previous workday.
  • Check your voicemail & email.
  • Plan & prepare for the day.
  • Check for attendance. Take note of who's late.
  • Briefly meet with the facilities manager to discuss urgent needs.
  • Meet with assistants, receptionists, and other admin staff to discuss the days tasks.
  • Field incoming phone calls & requests.
  • Manage time tracking & attendance systems
  • Order supplies & manage inventory
  • Distribute mail
  • Make sure printers have paper & toner/ink.
  • Troubleshoot problems with printers, copiers, phones, etc.
  • Plan interviews for new hires.
  • Sign for packages.
  • Produce reports for existing customers/clients. Draft new contracts.
  • Create presentations and management-level reports
  • Training with new hires
  • Scan the office for clutter. Clean and organize any messes.
  • Plan ahead for tomorrow’s/next week’s tasks.
  • Take more phone calls. Check email again.
  • Order lunch for the team.
  • Purchase supplies, business cards, and marketing materials.
  • Coordinate travel itinerary including rental cars and airfare.
  • Take out the garbage & recycling.
  • Check voicemail and email one last time.
  • Turn off AC/Heat, lock up before leaving last.

Office managers are so vital to the day to day operations of a business. If you're looking for a new position as an office manager or if you're looking to hire a new office manager that can handle all these things and more, contact us.

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