4 July 2022

Competing in the business world is all about achieving the most efficient way to operate. Where Office Management is concerned, optimum efficiency is achieved through managing to coordinate office activities through employee capability and their satisfaction. Therefore, the struggle for the ideal management of your office depends on two major factors – Effectiveness and efficiency.

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A properly managed business needs its office to be efficient. Therefore, the Office manager must shoulder the responsibility for the coordination of business activities,  ensure cost reduction, efficient office operation and the wellbeing of employees. When all of this is maintained under close watch, efficiency is better guaranteed.

It is important to distinguish between the role of the office manager and that of any other manager working in an office environment. The office manager is the personal responsible with the daily running of the workplace. The role is part of the administration of a business and while other management positions may be more focused on specific tasks and departments, the office manager has a more general position, most times being involved in the daily running of all departments and offices.

Office Management Definition

The office manager’s role is at the core of the planning, design and assignment of work in a business’s offices. The aim is to achieve  business goals by implementing of a focused work environment, through the proper guidance of efficiently coordinated personnel.  Personnel’s capacities and activities should be evaluated in order to achieve better productivity in the workplace.

The key to success in achieving an efficient workplace environment and operation is through the proper organisation of motivated and therefore hard working individuals who make up the personnel. The office manager must balance work spaces, administrative and office budgets, office supply inventories and restocking, training of the staff, make travel arrangements where necessary and the general running of the office space and facilities. An efficient work force is at the very heart of an efficient workplace and therefore the office manager must find ways to incentive worker to reach their peak. This can be done by making an effort to understand each individual’s characteristics, strengths and weaknesses and assign tasks accordingly.

Types of Office Management Duties

Even though there are various types of office management roles, the duties of the managers are often similar. The main duty role is that of supervising the day to day running of a company’s administration making sure the staff is well equipped and that all equipment is in order and available to be used by the personnel. Sometimes though, office managers are also required evaluate hiring, firing and promotion of staff employed in the administrative offices. They may also be required to pinpoint which employees require training and the nature of the training needed.

Corporate Office Management

In case of a large company, there may be more than one manager at each branch or division. Usually however, a district manager operating from the head office of the given company has the task to oversee the operation of all branch managers. This of course involves substantial travelling. Corporate office managers usually also handle plans for current and future human resources and are involved in organising marketing campaigns.

Virtual Office Management

Some smaller companies opt to employ the part time services of a virtual office manager since they feel that they don’t yet require a full time employee to do the job. The person contracted may indeed be working for more than one company as a given time and the work is often done remotely. Small but growing businesses often choose this option to save on the cost of full time employment and the costs of office spaces and equipment.

Key Office Management Functions

  1. Before engaging the role of an office manager, a person must be fully aware of the goals targeted by the company offering the role. These may be short or long term goals and the office manager must lay down a plan to achieve the said goals. One the plan is set, the first important step towards achieving an efficient and effective office setup is reached.
  2. Once the short and long term goals of a company are understood , the office manager must become acquainted with the resources available, which resources include materials, personnel and office budget. Once these resources are identified, the office manager must assign tasks to personnel and equipment in a way which optimises output and therefore efficiency.
  3. One of the key responsibilities of the office manager is staff management. An office manager holding an executive position should be in constant coordination with human resources departments to handle matters of recruitment, promotion, redundancy and retirement of subordinates.
  4. Successful management is often the fruit of communication. The office manager should possess good communicative skills and introduce open door policies in order to better coordinate and get the message through to employees. The employees will learn about the needs and goals of the company through the office manager. It is therefore advisable to organise staff meetings to better understand the needs of the employees themselves, have their feedback about what could be improved in their working environment or how resources could be used better. Interacting with employees also helps them understand the company’s expectations and motivates them to work more efficiently to reach the objectives.
  5. In this digital age, office managers are expected to have a good grasp of technology. Their role demands the use of certain software but they should also handle the training of staff to operate software invested in by the company. The number of companies using digital means in their management is on a steep increase. The office manager must therefore also be in close contact with service providers and persons managing the IT section of the company in order to ensure smooth running of software such as conferencing software, virtual meeting rooms, accounting software etc.
  6. As said before, the office manager must make sure that he or she understand and makes the most of the human resources available. Different persons have different capabilities but their diversity provides a larger array of available options and more flexibility to reach ever changing goals. The manager must assign tasks which are best suited to the characteristics of each individual, further motivating the individual to improve. Self-motivation is the best vehicle for improvement and efficiency in the office, and therefore makes it easier for goals to be achieved.

Finally, the role of the office manager evolves in the same way that the world does. The role of an office manager still retains the staple of being the role of someone who must be a bridge between all departments of a company and everyday interaction with the staff available. Most tasks remain the same, yet we have seen evolution of the role especially in a highly digitalised age. It should be concluded however that the task and position of an office manager is pivotal to the success of a company and plays an important role in achieving smooth running and business growth.

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