Office managers essentially ensure the smooth running of an office on a day-to-day basis and may manage a team of administrative or support staff. Responsibilities typically include:
- organising meetings and managing databases
- booking transport and accommodation
- organising company events or conferences
- ordering stationery and furniture
- dealing with correspondence, complaints and queries
- preparing letters, presentations and reports
- supervising and monitoring the work of administrative staff
- managing office budgets
- liaising with staff, suppliers and clients
- implementing and maintaining procedures/office administrative systems
- delegating tasks to junior employees
- organising induction programmes for new employees
- ensuring that health and safety policies are up to date
- using a range of software packages
- attending meetings with senior management
- assisting the organisation's HR function by keeping personnel records up to date, arranging interviews and so on.
However, depending on the size and structure of the organisation, the role of office manager can also be combined with another office-based job role, for example:
- HR assistant
- Company secretary
- Facilities manager (by taking responsibility for the upkeep of the building)
- Marketing assistant.
Duties will often include some of the traditional duties of a PA or administrator, but the role can be more wide-ranging.
Any organisation with more than a few members of staff may employ an office manager. Major employers include:
- financial organisations
- local authorities
- central government
- small businesses
Jobs are typically advertised via jobs boards and local, regional and national newspapers (online and in print) as well as by specialist recruitment agencies.
A degree can sometimes be beneficial and this career is open to graduates from all degree disciplines. However, many employers do not specify academic qualifications as a requirement, instead stressing the importance of:
- experience in an administrative role
- knowledge of software packages
- good interpersonal and time management skills.
Previous office-based, secretarial or customer-facing work experience is essential (some employers may expect at least two years). Some employers also ask for previous experience of working within an office-based role in the same sector. Relevant experience can be gained via temporary agency work, which may in turn lead to permanent office work.
- Reliability and discretion: you will often learn of confidential matters
- Communication, negotiation and relationship-building skills
- Organisational skills
- IT skills
- Problem solving skills
- Leadership and the ability to ‘make things happen’
- Budgeting skills
- Attention to detail.