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Just What Does an Office Manager Do? 5 Critical Tasks Performed by Office Managers

Office workers sitting around a desk and speaking

An office manager is an important role within a business. These professionals, who may take the name administration officer, administration analyst, or office coordinator, are critical to the success of many companies. Yet their role can feel a bit vague. Even in job descriptions for office manager positions, the role can sound pretty imprecise.

What, exactly, does an office manager do? Here is a closer look at five specific responsibilities the office manager is often tasked with.

1. Organizing the Office & Purchasing Materials

The office manager oversees operations within the office, and this means keeping things organized. This can include managing and assisting cleaning staff after meetings to ensure the space stays clean. If the company is large enough, the office manager is likely to have more help in this endeavor. A cleaning team probably handles major cleaning efforts, but when something comes up that needs to be addressed quickly, it's the office manager that must often step up.

Office managers also have to keep supplies in stock, such as coffee-making materials or bathroom supplies. This requires more than just reacting to empty cabinets. They are also responsible for researching and purchasing these items to meet the needs of employees. In 2018, 85% of office managers reported this as part of their regular work. The office manager must set a schedule for placing orders and determine what is a reasonable amount to order each week or month. They then must keep tabs on inventory to ensure that stock of necessities, like printer paper or paper towels, does not run too low.

2. Training and Mentoring Administrative Staff

If the business is large enough to have several leaders, the office manager is often the head of the leadership team. This means the office manager is responsible to train and mentor administrators in the types of daily operations that keep things running smoothly. This may include:

      Accounts receivable

      Accounts payable

      Data entry

      Policies and procedures

      Health and safety standards

The office manager must ensure that goals and standards are met as it relates to these fields, and will supervise other administrative professionals to ensure they are doing their part properly. When additional training is needed, it's the office manager that must work to get it in place. If administrative staff members need correction, the office manager must oversee this as well.

3. Monitoring Internal Processes

This is a vague role often listed as part of the responsibilities of an office manager, but what does it mean? Typically it means the office manager will monitor the inner workings of the company, and take measures to solve problems as they arise. The office manager is the go-to person when an employee has an issue that is impairing their ability to work, but that they cannot solve on their own.

The way this responsibility plays out changes on a daily basis. One day it’s dealing with a paper jam in the office printer. Then, on another day, it’s helping a team member solve an email issue. This particular role requires strong problem-solving skills and the ability to research problems to find a solution.

4. Attending to Office Morale

It's the office manager's job to boost morale in the office. This starts with having a positive attitude and demeanor personally and professionally. That, then, helps encourage positive actions and attitudes from team members. Office managers also often help employees work out differences when interpersonal conflicts arise, which helps keep the overall morale in the office high.

To help improve morale, the office manager might even implement incentive programs, group parties, or events to honor various employees. Creative thinking is a must for this particular role, as are good interpersonal relationship skills.

The office manager also typically oversees new staff onboarding. Making sure new employees have the right tools for success in the business is a critical part of keeping morale high. If the company lacks a dedicated human resources department, it is the office manager that takes on this responsibility. Conversely, when employees are ready to leave for new opportunities, the office manager plays a role here, as well. They will handle offboarding, ensuring company assets are protected and the departing employee leaves with a good feeling for the place they previously worked.

5. Creating Reports

Finally, the office manager may shoulder the responsibility of creating reports and presentations on behalf of the office. From payroll numbers to reports on employee morale, these are critical reports that the company will use to make both financial and personnel-based decisions. Office managers must learn how to create effective presentations from the data they collect and present it in a way that their supervisors can easily understand.

Presenting reports requires strong organization and analytic skills. Office managers also must be able to present data both visually and in written form. They must be able to communicate clearly and in an engaging way. Finally, they must be able to draw conclusions based on the data collected in order to provide recommendations for actions moving forward.

Because it is such a diverse career, the role of an office manager is an interesting one to pursue. The right training will get you started on the path toward a successful career. If you are looking to pursue a degree, look no further than Bryant & Stratton College. With professors who have years of real-world experience in the same field they are teaching why look any further? Get more information about our program today!


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