An office manager’s job is not easy. Keeping the office organized, productive, and on track requires a careful balancing of several skills, which often overlap.
Office managers might need to organize meetings, provide training, manage finances, order supplies, and much more. In many cases, the job of an office manager can look different each day, or even from one hour to the next.
As such, there is a unique combination of soft and hard skills that every office manager should have. Some of these skills might come more naturally to some, but each can be learned through practice. Here are a few of the most crucial traits and skills required for office management.
Whether you’re training administrative staff, sending out correspondences, or balancing office relationships, communication matters. Both verbal and nonverbal communication skills, as well as listening, are important in daily office management.
As an office manager, you need to be able to listen and respond to employee requests. This can involve work-related requisitions, or conflict management skills. It is not just professional communication that matters as an office manager. You must also have strong emotional intelligence skills, be able to empathize with co-workers, and help resolve problems.
No matter what task an office manager is performing at any given time, some level of organization is required. Whether managing a project, setting and maintaining a schedule, leading a meeting, or interacting with vendors or clients, it helps to stay organized.
Not only that, but given the extreme variety in an office manager’s duties, organization is needed to balance everything. Effective task management relies on the ability to organize and compartmentalize the workday into effective productivity blocks. Ineffective task management can compound issues and unravel your productivity. But an organized schedule can eliminate this risk entirely.
Most office managers don’t need to be fully trained accountants, but many are in order to manage some basic financial tasks.
For instance, some office managers may be in charge of ordering supplies, budgeting tasks, or tracking and making payments. The more comfortable you are with handling these financial tasks, the better. Even if it is not a major part of the job, being financially literate can be an asset. It opens new opportunities at work which can be great for professional development.
An office manager’s duties also involve using and implementing a variety of technology and software. This is a skill that has become increasingly important in recent years.
As new office management software allows companies to accomplish more advanced tasks, many companies are constantly adopting new tech. It can often fall to the office manager to set this technology up and help other employees adapt to the changes. As such, many office managers are required to be highly technically literate.
It’s also essential to be able to switch between different technologies and platforms in today’s business environment. Workers, and office managers especially, need to be comfortable using computers, tablets, phones, and more for work-related tasks.
It’s not just technical skills that can help office managers make the most of available programs. Having an awareness of the best office management software available is also important.
Today, there is software for just about everything in office management. Most companies use programs like Slack, Trello, Microsoft Outlook, and Teams to stay connected and manage projects. But there is a huge variety of essential software tools that can help with all types of tasks in the office. From workflow, to recruiting, to keeping your break room stocked with stacks, office management software can make your work life much easier.
Want to learn more or develop your skills as an office manager? Consider becoming an ASAP member today.
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