An office manager oversees employees, manages workflow, and keeps records, all while facilitating work in the office. The specific tasks performed may vary depending on a variety of factors, including the number of employees and the size of the company. Because he or she is only responsible for other employees and not for the actual work done in the office, an office manager’s job is usually very similar across fields. In most cases, this is not the company’s highest level of management, and this employee may report to higher managers or owners. Small businesses may have office managers, but these are often just advanced employees who, in addition to their own responsibilities, perform the functions of an office manager without any special qualifications.
A person with a degree in management or business is usually an office manager. He or she is generally in charge of ensuring that employees work as efficiently as possible and that productivity is at its highest possible level. The office manager usually accomplishes this effectively assigning work, communicating with employees on a regular basis, and keeping track of productivity. Budgets, files, and employee records are frequently the responsibility of this position.
Because the manager’s job is to make it easier for employees to complete their tasks, he or she does not need to understand the work being done in the office to effectively manage it. A person with a management degree but no experience with computers, for example, could still manage a software development firm. Even so, having experience in the type of office one works in can be beneficial, both in terms of giving lower-level employees confidence in one’s competence and in terms of managing workflow.
One of the most important responsibilities given to office managers is the hiring and firing of new employees. The manager may also be in charge of ensuring that all employees are aware of company policies and that they sign all employment-related legal documents. One of the most important responsibilities of the office manager is to ensure that the office is run in accordance with all applicable labor laws.
Smaller businesses frequently require office management but lack the financial resources to hire a full-time office manager. In these situations, the owner may serve as a manager, or a senior employee may work and supervise others. There are offices that operate without the supervision of a manager because not every office requires this level of management. The exact requirements of the position are usually listed within the job description when applying for office manager jobs. It’s critical to examine these specific requirements, because each office expects something slightly different from a manager, depending on what has previously proven successful.