Office Managers establish work priorities and manage expenses accordingly. They analyze administrative operations and strategies, as well as employee performance, in order to suggest and implement improved work methods and systems.
In other words, Office Managers oversee and coordinate all of the organization’s administrative activities–except in larger organizations where every department (e.g. Accounting and Human Resources) is usually managed by a specialized Office Manager. On the other hand, Office Managers working in smaller organizations may carry out some of the Administrative Assistant’s or Executive Assistant’s tasks, such as scheduling meetings or managing calendars.
Understandably, Office Managers’ duties will vary depending on the type of organization they work in, from the Legal to the Medical field, and everything in between. They report to Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Senior Managers, and/or other executives who work in a variety of office spaces throughout the private and public sectors.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Office Managers are required to complete.
- Developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing tactical and operational plans, procedures, and systems, in compliance with the organization’s strategic goals, policies, procedures, budgets, deadlines, and other related requirements.
- Hiring new employees or assisting the Human Resources department with the recruiting process.
- Training, mentoring, supervising, and disciplining administrative staff in order to ensure the overall efficiency of daily operations:
- Assigning, overseeing, and monitoring administrative tasks in areas such as accounts receivable (A/R), accounts payable (A/P), data entry, and the like;
- ensuring that goals and deadlines are met and that projects are led in compliance with all company policies and procedures, including health and safety standards; and
- liaising with other departments in order to ensure the smooth management of operations.
- Overseeing the budgeting and bookkeeping activities, including payroll, A/P, A/R, collections, bank reconciliation, government remittances, and financial reporting:
- Ensuring the budget is planned, prepared, and monitored in compliance with organizational objectives, policies, and procedures; and
- ensuring administrative activities and services remain within budgetary limits.
- Overseeing office equipment maintenance and repair, as well as replacement of missing supplies:
- Identifying office deficiencies and determining facilities requirements;
- reviewing all supply orders and approving/negotiating them to ensure competitive pricing;
- building and maintaining professional relationships with vendors and service providers; and
- keeping track of receipts and supply invoices, submitting them to the Accounting team when required.
- Handling complaints and grievances, addressing them, and conducting investigations, as required:
- Seeking employee and client feedback and adapting accordingly.
- Preparing reports, presentations, and proposals so as to document all office activities:
- Summarizing office activity, identifying trends, and making appropriate recommendations;
- evaluating and reporting employee performance and measuring results against company standards; and
- providing feedback and making necessary recommendations and adjustments to current work methods and systems.
- Monitoring employees’ timesheets:
- Reviewing and approving leaves related to professional development or vacation, as well as sick leaves and leave of absence requests.
- In some cases, planning and coordinating employee events such as team outings, celebrations, and charity fundraisers.
- Training, mentoring, supervising, and disciplining administrative staff.
- Ensuring the overall efficiency of daily operations by monitoring day-to-day workflow and delegating tasks accordingly among staff.
- Keeping track of employee performance, project budgets, and deadlines.
- Making necessary recommendations and adjustments to current work methods and systems.
- Preparing presentations, proposals, and reports.
- Overseeing office equipment maintenance and repair, as well as the replacement of missing supplies.
The average Office Manager salary is $49,674 per year or $25 per hour. This is around 1.5 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $35,000 while most experienced workers make up to $70,000. These results are based on 477 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Strong interpersonal, communication, and negotiation skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with employees, colleagues, and executives;
- being able to present information and ideas to diverse groups, simplifying often complex and lengthy matters;
- conveying an engaging attitude and using an influential tone with a focus on developing long-term relationships, both internally and externally, to facilitate work efforts, alignment, and collaboration; and
- handling requests and inquiries in a professional, diplomatic and tactful manner.
- Exceptional leadership and mentoring skills:
- Modelling appropriate professional, ethical, and collaborative behaviours that induce trust and respect;
- pushing themselves and others to achieve results and exceed goals; and
- being resourceful, energetic, and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
- Strong sense of empathy and compassion:
- Being people-focused; willing to put the interests of clients and colleagues first.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner using creativity and sound judgment; and
- being able to gather, monitor, and analyze all types of quantitative and qualitative data into informational reports and presentation for strategic planning and problem-solving purposes.
- Outstanding organizational and project management skills:
- Being able to work independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced environment;
- being versatile, flexible, and willing to work within constantly changing priorities; and
- being able to prioritize tasks and responsibilities accordingly.
- Administrative skills:
- Demonstrated proficiency in computer word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications; and
- demonstrated ability to type at a speed rate of 40 to 60 words per minute.
- High levels of integrity, credibility, and confidentiality.
Aside from the skills listed above, Office Managers need to acquire an extensive knowledge of clerical practices and procedures, as well as business management principles. They usually do so by completing a post-graduate degree in Administration, Business, or Accounting.
Having a basic knowledge of the sector in which the applicant wants to work is always a must. Hence, Office Managers may choose to pursue additional degrees and courses in fields such as Education or Hospitality.
Most Office Manager positions require a minimum of 3 to 5 years of previous administrative management experience, while some of them may require up to 10 years. Project management experience constitutes a definite asset, as well as bookkeeping and event planning experience. A First-Aid Certification, along with a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification, is also usually preferred.