Ever wondered exactly what an Office Manager does?
Office Manager sounds like a great title, but what exactly does it involve?
An Office Manager performs an integral role in any medium or large office. Without an effective Office Manager, many major businesses would quickly lose a large aspect of their productivity and possibly even fail.
It sounds dramatic, but that’s what happens when one of the key links in a chain is missing. The Office Manager keeps operations running smoothly and ensures that other employees have the resources they need to perform their jobs effectively.
Sound like the kind of responsibility you could handle? It’s not an easy job, but it can be very rewarding, and the career path can take you a lot of places. Read ahead to find out exactly what an Office Manager does, and how you can become one.
What are an Office Manager’s Tasks?
An Office Manager’s tasks vary depending on the industry, the size of the workplace and the amount of resources at their disposal. Generally speaking, an Office Manager is responsible for organising a broad array of administrative activities that allow office operations to keep running smoothly.
In a smaller office, the Office Manager will wear a lot of hats. Their tasks may include managing the receptionist(s) (or taking on reception duties themselves) and any other administrative assistants working in the organisation.
Among others, an Office Manager’s tasks include:
Calendars and Scheduling
This includes organising meetings between outside parties and people within the office, as well as arranging appointments for office workers. Office Managers may also need to manage calendars for executive-level employees, as well as a calendar of events for the office as a whole.
Office Managers are often tasked with managing correspondence into and out of the office, including packages, mail and faxes. They’ll need to coordinate with postage companies and may also have to deal with complaints and queries from clients of the organisation.
Transport and Accommodation
When employees need to travel for work, whether to meetings, conferences or other business locations, the Office Manager is often tasked with organising their transport and accommodation needs.
Office Managers may be in charge of maintaining stationery stocks inside the office, including regular orders of paper if the business uses a lot of it. Additionally, they may oversee the furnishings for the office, such as ordering new shelving or chairs.
Supervising and Monitoring
Office Managers are usually tasked with overseeing other administrative staff. This includes monitoring the work of secretaries, clerical and administrative workers. In some organisations, the Office Manager will oversee more employees than any other department.
Office Managers need to be able to manage budgets for office purchasing requirements. This can be very diverse, including things like stationery and information technology needs, such as computers.
Procedures and Systems
Office Managers may have to develop and oversee procedures for a range of areas of operation. From administrative policies to knowledge management systems, the Office Manager will need to have a diverse skill set and be well versed in almost every aspect of the business.
Inducting new employees is sometimes the responsibility of human resources. However, often it will fall to the Office Manager to show new employees around, introduce them to the different departments of the business, educate them on OH&S policies (such as evacuation procedures) and get them the equipment they need to do their job.
Presentations and Reports
Office Managers are usually required to report on a wide range of things within the organisation. This may include performance evaluations of the staff they are responsible for, or budgetary performance for those aspects of the business that fall under their purview.
Additionally, the Office Manager may be required to prepare presentations and meeting rooms for other managers and executives within the business. This may include drafting presentations and letters to clients, or catering for major client meetings.
What Skills do you need to be an Office Manager?
Due to the diverse nature of the Office Manager’s role, they require a wide range of skills in order to be proficient at their job. It’s a tough job, and many procedures and tasks are often unique to the organisation. As a result, it’s almost unheard-of for an Office Manager to be 100% qualified when they walk into a job. As a result, the ability to learn quickly is critical.
Office Managers may be the first point of contact for outside parties, including clients, suppliers and other customers. They’ll also need good communication skills to deal with their direct reports and other managers within the organisation. The ability to actively listen and communicate clearly and effectively is critical for Office Managers.
Without effective supervision, many employees do not work at an acceptable level of productivity. Office Managers need to supervise receptionists and administrative workers across the business. This can quickly become difficult in a large organisation that may occupy several floors within a building or that may be based in multiple locations. It is the Office Manager’s responsibility to delegate responsibility where required.
Motivating and encouraging employees, delegating tasks and keeping an eye on work completion rates are very important. The ability to resolve conflict and discipline workers when required will make an Office Manager’s job much easier.
Monitoring budgets, employee performance, and other procedures is all part of the Office Manager’s purview. A good Office Manager will be able to understand the organisation’s performance as a whole and recommend improvements to maximise efficiency.
How to become an Office Manager
The path to becoming an Office Manager can be very convoluted. It’s one of those careers that can be achieved through a number of different entrance points. A great Office Manager is qualified across a range of specialties and has experience in management of budgets, personnel and other resources.
FNS40615 Certificate IV in Accounting
An accounting background can be of huge benefit to an Office Manager. If the role requires a lot of budgetary oversight and resource management, then accounting is a great entry point.
Due to an Office Manager’s significant involvement in hiring, induction and supervision, human resource skills can come in very handy. Earning qualifications in human resources will qualify you for a range of roles, and is a great way to open the door to a career as an Office Manager.
This is possibly the most appropriate entry point for an Office Manager. Obtaining the skills required for general business administration will allow you to prepare for a lot of the challenges that will be thrown your way during your career as an Office Manager. For improved qualifications, a BSB50415 Diploma of Business Administration will look better on your CV, as well as giving you a broader skill set.
There are multiple avenues to enter a career as an Office Manager. It can be a great role, and will give you the opportunity to work with some large organisations doing great things. If this interests you, get in touch. We’ll have a chat about your plans and expectations and help you develop a career plan to get you where you want to be.