An Office Manager is responsible for the organisation and smooth running of their office, ensuring everything from admin to payroll and everything in between is running like it should.
Office Managers play an incredibly important part in the organisation and structure of an office. While not a staple in every office, where they are found they play a key role in operations. They ensure the smooth running of offices through efficient and organised approaches to their duties. This is a fundamentally Secretarial and Business Administration kind of roll, however it plays a vital role in many businesses.
As an Office Manager, graduates would be responsible for orchestrating the entire office. Their responsibilities range from the phone systems and IT to furniture and training and procedures of operations. Office Managers operate as a mix between Human Resources department, Personal Assistant and operations managers. It could be the responsibility of Office Manager to manage diaries of staff or ensure the accounts team is up to date with members of staff's salaries and payment plans.
With this kind of role, graduates are required to be highly organised and able to multitask perfectly. The role can have quite a lot of ad hoc elements to it and it is important that graduates also have the confidence to get things done and throw themselves into tasks that might be new to them. This is usually an entry level role, but can also lead to exciting career in Human Resources or further developments in Business Administration.
Office Manager Salaries
The average starting salary for an Office Manager is £19,236. This is a fantastic starting salary for graduates and really reflects the pivotal role they play in the running and day-to-day of companies. This is also relatively similar to other entry level business functions like Human Resources Advisor or Account Executive.
The Daily Duties of an Office Manager
As the role of an Office Manager varies so much company to company, it is very difficult to say exactly what graduates might be doing if they were employed into this position. However, this is one of the best things about this roles. While there might be some traditional administration tasks they'll be trusted with, there also might be tasks that graduates will have to figure out as they go along for the good of the company. Here are some of the tasks that graduates will be trusted with as a graduate Office Manager:
- Booking and managing diaries - Office Managers and their superior organisation and multitasking skills are often called upon for managing the diaries of usually senior members of staff. Depending on the organisation and what sector it is in, Office Manager will be responsible for fixing meetings and arranging facilities or making reservations for these meetings.
- Ensuring office equipment and technology - A large part ensuring that the office is running smoothly is for Office Managers to make sure there are the facilities for the office to operate. This could be making sure the phone lines are running, making sure stationary is stocked up or that new computers are ready to be used. Some specialist knowledge for this would also be worthwhile.
- Gatekeeping - Gatekeeping, a term used to refer to the person who answers the phone and shields out nuisance calls and those who directs enquiries to the appropriate people. Office Managers are traditionally the first person to answer the phone and deal with enquiries on first instance, usually diverting calls to the appropriate people in the office. An excellent telephone manner is almost essential for becoming an Office Manager.
- Liaising with professionals - A lot of the time the Office Manager will not be required to the work themselves, but responsible for getting it fixed. For example, if the phone lines were down, it would be there responsibility to arrange an engineer to visit. This could also mean being in touch with the accountant to arrange changes to pay or register new members of staff.
- Records and Files - Records and files are kept on behalf of companies, it is the responsibility of the Office Manager to be up to date with their filing system and be able to manage it for members of staff when they need certain documents. This kind of responsibility could also extend to typing up notes or taking minutes in meetings.
Office Managers play such an important role in offices and are fundamental to their functioning. While they are not in all offices, they play such an important part for those companies that need them.
Graduates who are considering starting their career as an Office Manager need to show they are incredibly organised, able to multitask and have the commitment to see tasks done thoroughly. Another great skill and characteristic for would-be Office Managers to have, because of the ad hoc nature of the day to day role, is the ability to roll their sleeves up and give something a go.