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Office manager: job description

Office manager: job description

Office managers are responsible for facilitating the efficient functioning of an office through a range of administrative, clerical, financial and managerial tasks.
There are many similarities between the role of office manager and the work undertaken by senior secretaries or administrators, although generally the work of office managers attracts higher salaries.

What does an office manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

There is no generic role for office managers as duties vary according to the size of the employing organisation. However, responsibilities typically include:

  • organising meetings
  • arranging appointments
  • typing
  • booking transport and accommodation
  • ordering stationery and furniture
  • dealing with correspondence, complaints and queries
  • preparing letters, presentations and reports
  • supervising and monitoring the work of secretarial, clerical and 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
  • handling staff recruitment and appraisals
  • attending meetings with senior management
  • keeping personnel records

Typical employers of office managers

Any organisation with more than a few members of staff may employ an office manager. Major employers include:

  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Financial organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Central government
  • Charities
  • Small businesses
  • Retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Major companies
  • Media firms

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services, recruitment agencies, in specialist publications such as The Economist and The Appointment, as well as in local, regional and national newspapers.

Qualifications and training required

A degree can sometimes be beneficial, particularly for higher level positions. This career is open to graduates from all degree disciplines. Previous office-based clerical, secretarial or commercial work experience is essential (some employers may expect at least two years). Relevant experience can be gained via temporary agency work, which may in turn lead to permanent office work.

Key skills for office managers

  • Reliability
  • Adaptability
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • IT skills
  • Problem solving skills
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