How To Become An Office Manager

4 minutes   |  CAREER ADVICE, TALENT MANAGEMENT

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2017 employee engagement statistics show only 16% of 1,200 US workers surveyed felt happy and engaged at work.1 Unengaged and dissatisfied employees can cost companies up to $550 billion annually.2 The definition of an Office Manager varies a lot depending on factors like industry, company type, and role requirements, but what many can agree on is a large part of an Office Manager’s role is improving company culture and employee satisfaction, ultimately saving your company money.

Office Happiness Manager of GetSmarter, Rachel Erasmus explains her role as “creating a home away from home for employees to do their best work, every day. Solving our team’s physical office requirements is at the top of my priority list. I work together with Talent Management ensuring the company culture is present in everything we do, be it our team initiatives or the way we theme our boardrooms. It’s also my responsibility to manage the relationship with our in-house healthy food service provider, PureGood.”

What are the key responsibilities of an Office Manager?

An Office Manager is expected to carry out varied responsibilities since their role is industry, and company-specific. Some Office Managers will master one or two skills in their role instead of overseeing all office management tasks, especially if you’re working at a large company. At smaller businesses, the Office Manager may be expected to act as bookkeeper, office administrator, and oversee all office and safety management tasks.

Rachel describes her specific responsibilities to include all internal office operations, setting the standard for office appearance in line with legal (OHS) requirements and team requirements, manage and oversee office upgrades and work closely with the Planning Team when organising events.

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The following list of Office Manager responsibilities will not apply to all contexts and is not exhaustive:

Professional Communication and Organisation
  • Understand the importance of being sensitive to the beliefs and practices of all employees coming from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds
  • Master the ability to interact with all business contacts in a respectful, professional and polite way
  • Maintain a professional image, learn how to be assertive, and how to manage stress when it comes to handling office conflict and complaints

Want these skills?

Facilities Management
  • Recommend strategies for balancing maintenance, operations, and updates to the working environment and design a comprehensive help desk process for your organisation
  • Contract management and propose updates to an organisation’s current facilities and environment
  • Manage relationships with facilities suppliers and possibly oversee occupational health and safety regulations

Want these skills?

Executive Support and Events Management
  • Plan and execute various company events,organise reservations and communicate with suppliers
  • Manage interior design and decoration of the office, run an inventory of supplies in-house and make new orders when necessary whether this includes business equipment, office supplies or even healthy snacks for the break room
  • Create procedures and implement changes to ensure employee engagement and satisfaction and use techniques to build rapport, coach, and motivate others

Want these skills?

Professional Communication and Organisation

  • Understand the importance of being sensitive to the beliefs and practices of all employees coming from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds
  • Master the ability to interact with all business contacts in a respectful, professional and polite way
  • Maintain a professional image, learn how to be assertive, and how to manage stress when it comes to handling office conflict and complaints

Want these skills?

Facilities Management
  • Recommend strategies for balancing maintenance, operations, and updates to the working environment and design a comprehensive help desk process for your organisation
  • Contract management and propose updates to an organisation’s current facilities and environment
  • Manage relationships with facilities suppliers and possibly oversee occupational health and safety regulations

Want these skills?

Executive Support and Events Management
  • Plan and execute various company events, organise reservations and communicate with suppliers
  • Manage interior design and decoration of the office, run an inventory of supplies in-house and make new orders when necessary whether this includes business equipment, office supplies or even healthy snacks for the break room
  • Create procedures and implement changes to ensure employee engagement and satisfaction and use techniques to build rapport, coach, and motivate others

Want these skills?

 


What is the potential salary for an Office Manager?

An Office Manager’s salary will be dependent on many factors like industry, years of experience, qualifications and the mastering of skills through certification.

Office Managers may see an increase in salary once entering into a specialised position requiring the mastering of certain skills by taking administration courses or getting training and certification.

Click on a country to see what you can expect to get paid as an Office Manager in either South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States of America:

* Information correct as of November 2017

  • RSA
    Entry-Level R110, 000
    Mid-Career R171, 000
    15 Years Experience R330, 000
  • UK
    Entry-Level £20, 000
    Mid-Career £24, 300
    15 Years Experience £32, 000
  • USA
    Entry-Level $38, 000
    Mid-Career $45, 400
    15 Years Experience $63, 000
What are the education and training requirements for an Office Manager?

Office Managers will not necessarily follow a specific path in terms of education, but many will complete tertiary studies in human resources, office management or another related discipline. Depending on the size of the company, Office Managers might work closely with OHS Managers, if OHS does not form a part of their background and role. At GetSmarter, Rachel works in collaboration with OHS & Facilities Coordinator, Jasmine Haigh.

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Office managers who want to work in specific industries or specialise in their role can do so by taking online courses related to their organisation and industry.


Which skills do you need to advance in your career as an Office Manager?

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1EmployeeChannelInc
2ConferenceBoard