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What is an Office Manager?

Also known as: Administrative Services Manager, Office Administrator, Office Supervisor, Office Coordinator, Administrative Supervisor.

An office manager is someone who is responsible for organizing all of the administrative activities that facilitate the smooth running of an office. They must be skilled at supervising other employees in a fair, consistent manner. A manager's duties may also include hiring and firing employees, as well as resolving disputes or any other issues that may come up among employees.

What does an Office Manager do?

Duties for office managers vary according to the size of the employing organization, so it could mean organizing, planning and overseeing a large pool of administrative assistants, or working with one or two people in a smaller office. Regardless of the size of the organization, an office manager must be able to motivate and encourage employees to increase both productivity and work quality.

Responsibilities typically include:

  • organizing meetings and arranging appointments
  • typing, and dealing with correspondence, complaints and queries
  • booking transport and accommodation
  • ordering stationery and furniture
  • preparing letters, presentations and reports
  • supervising and monitoring the work of secretarial, clerical and administrative staff
  • managing office budgets
  • liaising with staff, suppliers and clients
  • implementing and maintaining procedures/office administrative systems
  • delegating tasks to junior employees
  • organizing induction programmes for new employees
  • ensuring that health and safety policies are up to date
  • using a range of software packages
  • handling staff recruitment and appraisals
  • attending meetings with senior management
  • keeping personnel records

Skills and Requirements Needed:

  • Communication Skills: Office managers collaborate with co-workers, management, direct reports and in some cases customers. They need to be able to listen and communicate effectively.
  • Attention to Detail: From ordering office supplies to complying with OSHA standards, making sure every detail is right is crucial to an office manager's work.
  • Leadership Skills: Office managers are in charge of the support staff. They need to motivate, discipline and resolve conflicts on a regular basis.
  • Analytical Skills: How can the company save money? Are we getting the most out of our resources? Office managers need to find inefficiencies and cost-savings as part of their day-to-day job.

What is the workplace of an Office Manager like?

Typically, any organization with more than a few members of staff may employ an office manager. Employers include hospitals, universities, financial institutions, local authorities. government, charities, small businesses, retailers, manufacturers, major companies, and media firms.

How can I become an Office Manager?

In most places, a certificate or an associate's degree is usually required, with a bachelor's degree preferred by some employers. This career is open to graduates from all degree disciplines. Previous office-based clerical, secretarial or commercial work experience is essential (some employers may expect at least two years). Relevant experience can be gained through temporary agency work, which may in turn lead to permanent office work.

Office managers must show management skills, familiarity with an office environment, and a strong understanding of how business works. Previous experience with ordering supplies, customer service, facilities maintenance & management, and purchasing, will be crucial to landing the job.

Note: Larger organizations may have many layers of office management. Further education, such as a degree in business administration, may help an individual advance.

  • Career Education to Become an Office Manager study.com

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    Further Reading

    • What are the Qualities of a Good Office manager?

      The office manager plans, organizes, directs and controls the activities of his sub-ordinates in the organization. He brings the human resource or human talent of a firm into combination with non-human resources viz. money, materials and machine.

    • Office Manager Duties and Responsibilities

      Office managers, also called administrative service managers, are business professionals who are responsible for a diverse set of administrative tasks. Whether calculating payroll or hiring new employees, office managers must perform their duties with decisiveness and accuracy for a business to perform well.

    • Tasks and Traits of a Successful Office Manager

      An office manager worth their salary has superb communication skills and remains in contact with each and every organizational member. While certain employees and departments may seldom interact with one another, a good office manager deals with all of them.

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