Small Business Brief


What Is Office Management? How to Get Good at Office Management

Roughly 75 percent of all companies collapse within 18 months of opening. It’s a statistic that proves how difficult it is to build a financial entity from scratch and ensure its longevity.

One way you can boost the chances of success in your business is by implementing best practices for managing an office. As a business administrator, one of your responsibilities is to keep your office running efficiently. It’s what good office management is all about.

In this guide, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • What is office management?
  • What can you do to be a better office manager?

What Is Office Management?

Office management refers to the process of planning, organizing, coordinating, controlling, and directing the resources of a business within the office. The process brings together the staff, office equipment, software tools, and a list of tasks to be accomplished in an attempt to meet the objectives of the company.

So how do you go about managing an office? Below are seven guidelines:        

1. Establish Routines

To stay organized and ensure the smooth running of activities in your office, you need to set routine procedures for routine tasks. 

Come up with a clear routine for handling your office systems and paperwork. It’s really not a question of content management vs document management; you need to make sure that every essential piece of information, whether in paper form or otherwise, is acted upon at the right time. Never leave documents lying haphazardly on your desk.  

Create practical administration and emergency procedures for your office systems. These systems include file servers, laptops, desktops, mobile devices, and multifunction printers. When one system crashes or fails, every member of your team should know what to do.

2. Define Responsibilities

The best way to manage an office, especially when it comes to dealing with the personnel is to ensure that everyone understands their responsibility. Accountable employees will always get things done. 

Who handles the purchases for your business? If you allowed anyone in the company to do it, imagine what would happen. That’s why it’s essential to put a person in charge of all supplies and equipment to ensure things run smoothly.

The same applies to computer system administration. One person needs to be responsible for the safety and security of all computer systems in your company. The person will be responsible for tracking accounts, software, and passwords.

Sure, you may be using a cloud-based system for your office applications, data storage, accounting software, and so on. However, you still need a trusted person to perform administrative duties, including adding or deleting users and assigning permissions.

3. Maintain Records Properly

Another smart tip on how to make your office run smoothly is to practice good record keeping. If you’re still starting out in business, you may think that keeping records is the simplest part of office management. 

Nothing can be further from the truth. Keeping records updated and accessible is easier said than done. To make things easier, try to update your records routinely.

Every time you get a new customer, take a few seconds to enter them into your client contacts database. Every time you deal with them, update their records.

4. Utilize Office Space Well

When is the last time you walked through your office to see how well organized it is? Does your office portray proper space management, or is it an example of the opposite. If you have to take a detour around several obstacles or trip over something, then something is wrong.

Administrators who know how to manage an office ensure that everything in the office is logically arranged. When employees sit at their desks, they need to be able to work comfortably there. 

An office can have lots of stuff crammed in there, from filing cabinets to printer stands. To maximize efficiency and safety, organize things appropriately. Be sure to follow the basics of good office design when it comes to lighting, power, and ventilation.

5. Schedule Tasks

Few business people enjoy doing such tasks as bookkeeping, filing, receiving, and shipping. Given how vital these tasks are to the survival of your enterprise, putting them off can have serious consequences. 

In case you aren’t in a position to assign tasks that you view as unpleasant to other people, motivate yourself to do them regularly. Set aside time every week to do these tasks. 

You could schedule a morning or an afternoon to spend time replying to emails, posting on your company’s social media pages, making cold calls, and updating your records. If you do this continuously for several weeks, it’ll become an excellent office management habit. 

6. Delegate and Outsource

If people had their way, they’d do only what they love and have sufficient time to accomplish well. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect. Often, you’ll have tasks on your hands that you neither like nor have ample time to do.

The best way to get these tasks done is to delegate and outsource. You could get a virtual office assistant to handle some of your office management roles. Doing so frees you so you can focus on doing what you do best and improve your company’s bottom line.

7. Boost Your Communication Skills 

The ability to communicate effectively is essential to all the things you do as an office manager. From time to time, you’ll need to lead meetings and speak at public functions effectively. It’s the reason you need to start working on your speaking skills.

Sure, you may not be comfortable speaking before people, but that’s just the incentive you need to start polishing your communication skills. Attend conferences and networking events to learn as much about becoming a good communicator as possible. Most importantly, find ways to practice what you learn. 

Boost Your Business By Becoming a Good Office Manager

Now that we’ve provided the answer to the question, “what is office management?” and gave you several guidelines on how to become a better office manager, the ball is on your court.  Start implementing these tips today, and you’ll begin to experience more success in your business in no time.

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