How To Manage an Office Effectively – The Office Management Secret
Managing an office means juggling a variety of tasks. Office managers keep the office running smoothly day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year, and there are many factors to consider on the daily or large scale basis. The duties of an office manager can include everything from office budgeting, inventory, seating and design, on-boarding of new employees, record keeping, and more.
To stay on top of your busy schedule and various tasks, try out these tips. Manage your office so that its operations are not only running smoothly, but as efficiently as possible.
1. Set Up Clear Lines of Communication
As an office manager, your co-workers will probably come to you with a variety of needs, questions or requests. It’s important that you set up clear lines of communication so that these requests can be received and handled efficiently.
Keep your inbox clean and organized. Letting emails pile up can lead to serious disorganization and can result in missed emails or unfinished tasks. Always keep your inbox as organized as possible.
Make it clear how your coworkers should approach you with requests or questions. Sure, a minor question like “where are the extra pens” can be asked face to face, but other requests should always be on paper. This establishes a record, and makes it so you won’t forget anything. Set up guidelines on how you can be contacted at work, whether you prefer email, Slack, or another form of communication with your coworkers.
On the topic of communication, you may also need to take time to close yourself off to coworker requests. If you have an important task, focus on that and deal with new requests later. If someone has a request that you can’t attend to right away or ever, be clear in what your role is and what responsibilities you can take on. If it’s not your job, it’s okay to say no or delegate to someone else.
2. Establish Procedures
Set clear procedures for all of your tasks. Doing things the same way and the right way every time will help set precedent and reduce the chances of mistakes or miscommunication.
As an office manager, you’ll likely be in charge of a variety of procedures. Emergency and safety procedures should be implemented and taught to all employees. Make sure all of your coworkers understand how procedures, especially those regarding safety issues, are to be handled.
There should also be set procedures for inventory requests, new employee onboarding, appointment setting, budget requests, filing and more. All office policies should be clearly shared with all employees; work with HR to ensure that office policies are transparently stated and shared.
In all of your responsibilities, set procedures for yourself and your coworkers. This will help things run smoothly and make your office more efficient. Setting clear procedures can also help the office manager who comes after you, as they’ll have everything they need to get the job done.
3. Stay Organized
You will have to juggle a variety of tasks as an office manager. Staying organized will keep you from dropping the ball; organization is one of the most important skills for office managers. Some tasks will need to be performed daily, some weekly, some monthly, and some on other schedules. Create a calendar with recurring events to stay on top of everything.
Some annual tasks, like auditing and implementing company policy and procedures, take more time than others. These are usually done less frequently, however, and are more big picture responsibilities.
Regular tasks of an office manager include things like inventory and cleaning. Take inventory regularly and set up a system for buying and budgeting. Your budget should be set in advance; stick to that budget and keep it in mind when working with vendors and ordering office supplies. It is your job to maintain all operations of the office, so hire a commercial cleaning service and budget for regular cleaning fees.
There are various tools you can use to stay organized.
4. Consider Task Management Software
Speaking of organizational tools, you should consider using a task management software. Calendars can be useful, but it takes some extra technology to stay on top of all the moving parts of an office.
Task management software can help you stay organized, especially when handling a rotation of tasks. Depending on your software of choice, others in the office can assign tasks, or you can assign tasks to others to delegate some of your duties.
Consider task managers like Trello or Asana, or research other task management software to stay on top of everything.
As an office manager, there’s a lot on your plate. New responsibilities may pop up daily, and with different tasks each week, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything.
Learning how to prioritize can make a world of difference in your daily routine. When coworkers approach you with requests for help or other tasks, know when to say no and when to add it to your list for later.
Certain tasks will require you to ignore all of the distractions and get to work. Other tasks will have hard deadlines. Many of your responsibilities will be recurring, and for these it’s important to create a regular schedule for yourself to stay on top of them.
When creating a schedule, figure out what your highest priority tasks are and tend to them first. Use color-coding or ordered lists to put your tasks in order of what needs to get done first, whether it’s more important or simply time-sensitive.
6. Use Feedback to Effectively Manage Your Office
It’s your job to keep the office running as efficiently as possible so that your coworkers can do their jobs. Ask for feedback from those coworkers to improve your success as an office manager. Constructive feedback can help you find solutions you may not have considered on your own. By creating a culture that welcomes helpful feedback, you can help improve your performance and help others in the office.
Managing an office is no small feat; there are seemingly endless responsibilities, and it can be hard to keep up. Stay on top of your work, prioritize, and set clear expectations and communications with your coworkers to improve your office space and make your company more efficient.