The job of an office manager is a varied one – the responsibilities of the role will be a little different with every company. But there are some general responsibilities and skills that will be needed for an office manager regardless of the industry and learning these are the starting point for your new career.
What is an office manager?
An office manager can also be known as a business, administrative or even operations manager by different companies. In a small company, the role may involve doing most of the jobs yourself while in a larger company, it may mean heading a team of people who carry out the various responsibilities.
An office manager will oversee administrative activities that allow the business to run smoothly. This often involves organising people, resources and information, handling the needs for office equipment as well as record keeping and administrative processes.
This is also a role that has a lot of leadership requirements in many companies. As the person in charge of a team of people, the office manager needs to be able to organise and lead people as well as be an example for those in it.
Office manager responsibilities
But what kind of tasks would that mean you would be doing as an office manager? The list of potential jobs can be large but not all of these will apply to every office, much of it depends on the kind of work that is done. A few examples of common jobs for the office manager to do or oversee include:
● Use various office software to ensure the smooth running of the office
● Manage both online and paper-based filing systems
● Create, implement and operate administrative systems
● Help with bookkeeping and accounting tasks
● Play a part in recruitment and onboarding new staff
● HR-style responsibilities such as staff appraisals and promotions
● Check rules and regulations such as health and safety are being followed
If the business has a strong online presence, the office manager may be required to take on some marketing tasks or to oversee the staff that are doing this. That might include things like managing social media accounts for the company, press releases or even content creation. Again, how much of this comes under the office manager role depends on the nature and size of the business.
Office manager skills
Due to the varied nature of the role, the skills required can also be varied. But there are some things that you can be certain will be sought after in an office manager.
Top of the list is excellent organisation and time management skills. Whether working alone or with a team, being organised and getting the best productivity possible is vital for the role. Being able to work under pressure and to prioritise tasks is also something to cultivate.
Interpersonal skills are also important even for small companies as you will be working with others in the company, customers and vendors. Teamworking skills and the ability to motivate others is also important. Being flexible, adaptable and able to manage projects and events is also important.
Solid computer skills and the ability to use software such as Microsoft Office and common online tools will be a good skill to have. If you have the knowledge but no training, a simple training course to get a certificate can be a worthwhile investment.
One of the best ways to get the right qualifications for the role is to look at dedicated Office Management Training. This kind of training is aimed specifically at people looking to become an office manager and focuses on the skills and responsibilities most common to the role and provides training on them.
By choosing an accredited office manager course, you can be confident that what you receive at the end will be a qualification that employers recognise. These specialist training courses allow you to train in a range of practical skills and also to add technical abilities as well as soft skill training. This means you have a comprehensive training that can be easily applied to the different demands of the role that each company will have.
Other qualifications that can lend themselves to an office manager role including training in business administration of management, computing and information technology skills and also human resources. General management experience can be helpful, especially when added to job-specific training courses.
What the job looks like
Generally, office managers are office based and will usually work in a single location. Sometimes there might be travel between different locations within the company or the need to travel to meetings or seminars held by the company. You may have a number of employees working with you on-site, on multiple sites or even remotely depending on the nature of the job.
A typical week will involve 35-40 hours and some overtime as needed for special events, meetings and other reasons. It is usually a full-time role although some smaller companies may be able to offer part time office manager roles or a job-sharing situation. Companies differ, but general smart office wear is preferred for the role.