Office management is essential in a business setting, and yet many people (even those who claim to be "management experts" do not fully understand what effective office management is. Therefore, this post is designed to give you a basic understanding of effective office management and how you can implement it in your work environment.
We'll focus on creating an easy-to-digest run-down so that even busy professionals stay on top of the daily tasks that plague most offices.
This article discusses topics such as time management, delegation, prioritization, effective meetings, email etiquette, handling paperwork, and other helpful office management tips. For now, let's start with the basics.
Office management is the process of implementing daily tasks in a well-planned, organized, and efficient manner. It requires a thorough evaluation method that measures the productivity and process conducted on a day-to-day basis within the office environment.
Such measures are then reviewed to analyze any required improvements or changes to achieve maximum productivity and efficiency among teams and individuals.
If you ask any seasoned pro in the field of business management, they will tell you that it is the foundation of all other aspects of managing a business.
You should strive to use as much natural light as possible. But, if that's not practical, you should at least use bright enough lighting where everyone can clearly see the presentation materials and whiteboards.
You can expect your business to suffer from a lack of progress, lower profits, employee absenteeism, higher staff turnover, and many other problems without good office management.
In fact, studies show that up to 90% of businesses do not achieve their projected profits because of ineffective office management.
There are several reasons why good office management is so important:
A well-managed office keeps everyone on target with regard to their deadlines. This helps avoid the common “last-minute scramble,” which is one of the biggest causes of office stress. It also helps prevent a “traffic jam” of last-minute requests that slow down the workflow and cause additional stress for everyone involved.
When everyone is on target regarding their deadlines, this frees up everyone's time and energy to produce their best work possible. It also reduces the amount of supervision required, leading to less “babysitting” by management and more self-reliance by your employees. This, in turn, enhances your employees' job satisfaction which leads to higher quality work output.
Good office management makes your work go faster. When everyone is on target with their deadlines, and there are no unnecessary delays, then there is more time and energy available for you to get your own work done. This frees up your time so you can spend it on the most critical aspects of your business and lets you make more money. It gives you a competitive advantage. The ability to manage your own affairs effectively is a rare commodity.
An efficient, well-run office keeps your employees satisfied with their jobs. They will be more productive and less likely to want to leave if they enjoy their work and are content with their working conditions, which results in higher employee retention.
Happy employees equal higher quality work. When you hire an outside party to do this for you, you give up a lot of control. This can have a negative impact on your bottom-line profits.
As mentioned above, having an effective office management method in place untimely leads to better outcomes for your business.
When you have employees who are happy, who work efficiently and productively, and love what they do, chances are you will see the result in an increase in sales and business functions. This means more clients and, in turn, more profits at the end of the day.
Related Post: How To Create A Healthy & Happy Work Environment
Lastly, excellent office management leaves a good impression of your brand. Sometimes, employees will leave to seek other opportunities, but being able to know that they left with a good impression of your business is key. This allows them to highly recommend your business to colleagues who may be interested in working for you.
These recommendations also extend past employees. When customers see that businesses employees are happy with what they do, they will directly link that the business will ensure they are satisfied with the products and services offered to them as well!
Now that you know what office management is and why it is important for any business, let's discuss the different levels of office management so you know where the processes and plans should originate and how to disseminate them to everyone.
The first level of management is made up of administrators, managers, and top-level executives.
These are the people who run the business on a day-to-day basis and make sure things get done. They include the owners of the company, C-level executives (such as CEOs, presidents, and directors), department heads, and others who have the title of manager or administrator. All of these individuals have the same goal of making sure the business is profitable and runs smoothly.
The second level of management is made up of middle managers or department leads. These are people who supervise other people. Middle managers may be directly below the executive in the corporate hierarchy, such as an assistant to the CEO, or they may report to lower-level executives, such as a supervisor of an assembly line worker.
Regardless of their position in the company, middle managers are the people who make sure each individual department is running efficiently. Department leads are similar to middle managers, except they supervise one or more employees instead of multiple employees.
The third level of management is made up of supervisors and team leads. These are people who supervise one or more employees.
Team leads do not necessarily supervise a group of people; they often supervise just one or two employees. For example, a team lead might be the person who schedules and coordinates all of the training classes for the people working on a particular project.
So what are the roles and responsibilities of each level of management?
As discussed earlier, the goal of each member of office management is the same: to make sure the business is running efficiently and profitably.
The five main functions of office management are planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and coordinating.
Planning includes things like budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning. Budgeting is the process of determining how much money you need to spend on your business in any given period of time.
Forecasting is the process of estimating what will happen in the future, both good and bad. Strategic planning is the process of developing a plan for achieving the goals and objectives.
Organizing is everything from keeping the desk clean and the files in order to make sure the right people are in the right place at the right time with the suitable materials. It also includes things like creating a simple filing system, starting a work order system, tracking inventory, and keeping track of all client relationships.
Staffing includes hiring and firing employees, paying them, providing training, scheduling them for work, and dealing with employee problems. It also includes setting performance standards, evaluating employees' performance, and ensuring everyone are working to those standards.
Directing means giving instructions to others so they can complete their assigned tasks and work effectively together as a team. It involves giving clear, concise instructions, providing feedback when needed, recognizing and rewarding good performance, and dealing with poor performance when it occurs.
Administrative support is what you need to keep your business running smoothly, day in and day out. It includes things like paying bills on time, processing credit card payments, handling customer service requests, tracking orders, processing claims, and so on.
Coordinating is the process of getting everything you need from others so you can get on with the important job of building your business. It involves scheduling meetings with clients and suppliers, preparing written proposals and marketing materials, and ensuring all of your ducks are in a row before you jump into the fray. If you have a good business manager, he will do most of this work for you.
Having the right qualities of a manager can make all the difference in the world. Here are 10 essential characteristics of a great manager.
• Detailed oriented
• Takes initiative
• Gains employee trust
• Makes decisive decisions
• Doesn't let little things interfere with getting the job done
• Honest and isn't afraid to make mistakes
• Is self-reliant
• Knows when to seek to advice and help
• Doesn't get in the way of a "micromanager."