The role of an office manager has changed greatly over the last few decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely redefined the role. While many of the same aspects of the job exist, it is important office managers embrace these newfound responsibilities. In this article, we will discuss tips to become a more effective office manager.
A modern-day office manager is the center of productivity, organization, and motivation. Gone are the days the office manager reminds employees to clean up the kitchen and here are the days where you get to make a real impact. Successful office managers are change makers, helping the upper management in establishing a positive office culture.
Whether you are a remote office manager or in an office, there are a few important skills you need to learn to be more effective.
- Communication – Office managers are the communicators between employees and the upper management. The number one way you can improve your communication skills is through active listening. Active listening is defined as the ability to listen to the concerns of your conversation partner, paraphrase, and reflect back on what they said. Active listening will help you hear the needs of those around you and communicate those needs to upper management.
- Organization – A clean and organized office is a happy office. Your coworkers will turn to you for advice on how to organize their workplaces. If your desk is cluttered, we suggest organizing it today so that you can be an example for others. If you are having trouble, stop by your local office supply store and check out different organizers available. Everyone’s space is different and there is a large variety of organizers available for any desk.
- Education – Just like you are here reading this article, continued education and the development of your skills are essential to doing a more effective job. Besides formal education, there are plenty of ways to learn and hone your skills. One of the best ways to learn from others is finding a mentor. Whether it be someone at your company or someone you meet in a business networking group, a mentor can help you learn from their past experiences. If you do not have access to a mentor or business networking group, no problem. YouTube is a great resource to learn from others and you can find videos from creators who discuss a variety of topics based on their hands-on experience.
In addition to learning and developing new skills, there are many tools that exist to help office managers. While it was easier in the office to keep track of tasks on a whiteboard, remote teams may struggle with task management and completion. Even if your team is in the office, these task management tools are made to automate basic task tracking functions and improve communication among teams. Finding the perfect task management tool for your office will improve productivity, ease communication between team members and leave upper management happy with your performance.
In addition to task management, there is an array of software that exists to make things easier for your team, remote or not. One of the most common is a document collaboration tool like Google Workspace or Office365. These tools, unlike traditional software like Microsoft Word, allow your office to easily collaborate with others on documents.
If you are not familiar with these tools and software, we suggest you take a look and see what can help your office.
Employees Are Your Best Resource
All office managers should recognize that the most important part of the office is the employees. The employees are the bloodline of the office, delivering important assignments, communicating with clients, and ultimately bring profits to the company. A great office manager will monitor these functions and ensure employees are provided every resource they need to do their job.
A great office manager will build meaningful relationships with their employees. If you are wondering how you can do that more effectively we suggest using emotional intelligence as your secret weapon. Emotional intelligence is a skill that involves managing interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. If a coworker comes to you upset being emotionally intelligent means you will be able to listen to their concerns and wade through the emotion without making them feel unheard. Active listening and emotional intelligence go hand-in-hand. Take some time daily to work on improving these skills, your employees will thank you.
The Next Level
We hope this article will help you achieve your best management goals. Whether you are in the office or working remotely, embracing our simple steps will help you improve your office environment. Keep in mind that these are skills, which take practice, meaning you will not reach your mark overnight. It takes time to learn a skill and even more time to master it. However, if you work on these skills a little bit every day, you will soon take your office and your leadership to the next level!