Office managers are the lifeline of any workplace. They facilitate a healthy working environment in the office and a good working relationship with the clients and suppliers. [Read more about Managing meetings: 5 Top Tips].
They need to have a knack for pre-empting needs of the office and talent for office work, with lots of patience. Even though you may be already multitasking and doing all things right, below is a list of things that you can work on to be even more effective!
Work experience and education
Even though a college degree is not a necessary requirement, you can still benefit from a course in business management. Alternatively, you can take some community college or vocational classes in accounting, business or management. All office managers should also have some sort of experience, so you should look for an internship or a related role to improve your knowledge about the day to day working of an office.
As an office manager, you will need to be on top of your organisational abilities. Right from ensuring all office items are found in their intended places to tracking schedules of the staff or a finding meeting rooms to hire, you'll always be multitasking. This will also need efficient time management skills on your part.
Ability to think quickly
You’ll need to possess a sixth sense for office life. Very often you will be required to think and act on your feet, and as such your decision-making skills will be tested to the core. Office staff will look to you for answers and you will be dealing with vendors and customers . Sometimes you may even be given additional tasks of hiring or firing of staff members. In case you don't know the best course of action, you can refer to the organisation's manuals to check the policy.
Handling many things at once can easily ruffle up the coolest of minds. However, your job as an office manager requires you to be unruffled by pressure. You must be able to exercise plenty of patience when dealing with issues in office such as settling a dispute over the phone with an angry customer.
Know your numbers
From creating invoices to processing orders, bookkeeping to receiving payments; your role as an office manager will challenge your skills in arithmetic. You might also be required to manage the cash in office as well as the employees payroll.
Office managers need to deal with clients, suppliers and office staff on a regular basis. As such, your communication skills will play a huge part in you being effective at your work. You will need to have excellent oral communication skills and phone manners as well as proper courteous written communication skills to send out memos and emails. You should be able to clearly state what you want others to understand through your instructions and also be quick to grasp their responses.
Fair, positive and friendly attitude
You should be unbiased in your dealing with the members of the staff and should present yourself as a responsible individual who sets the tone of work done in the office. Remember Christina Hendericks aka Joan Harris in Mad Men? You should be friendly in your approach and always maintain a positive outlook towards work. [Check out those great ideas to boost your employee creativity].
Remember that mostly people can gauge the efficiency of an office by analysing the office manager. If they see you efficient, the whole office looks more reliable and professional. Your professionalism at work will also ensure that everyone in the staff can carry on their duties without worrying about other things that shouldn't concern them.
And remember if you need any advice in organising a meeting or conference in London, at the Space Centre we are always happy to help!