An effective guide to running the office
An important part of a manager's job is helping the office function on a daily basis. And the more efficiently an office is run, the more successful a business can perform. Running an office involves a million moving parts: ordering supplies, troubleshooting, dealing with vendors, maintenance, payroll, etc.
If you want to be a better office manager and develop your management and leadership skills, here are some office management tips to keep things running smoothly.
- Organisation and Time-Management: Keep physical items in their proper places, manage your time effectively and keep track of staff schedules and roles. Your organisational skills will prove critical in completing tasks on time and making sure each day runs smoothly. For example, arrange files, paperwork and equipment to allow easy access by any staff member who needs them.
Make sure every office staff member understands his/her job description and performs to meet company expectations. In addition, create and adjust work schedules to ensure that all tasks get completed on time.
- Promote self-sufficiency: Your job is to manage the duties of the office, not serve as other employees' mother or maid. While a large part of your job will be to maintain order and cleanliness, it's important that you don't encourage employees to be helpless. Establish order in the office by laying down ground rules. For example, require employees to load the dishwasher to help reduce the time you spend cleaning up in the kitchen.
- Keep your working relationships professional: It is much easier to delegate responsibilities when a relationship between management and coworkers doesn’t cross over from professional to personal. It’s completely acceptable to maintain a friendly disposition with coworkers; however, a successful manager knows when the conversation takes a turn away from acceptable to undesirable. A recurring problem in the work place is break room gossip.
A successful manager, knows that this is intolerable behavior, and should avoid such conversations with all employees. If you keep your work place conversations work appropriate, you will be respected for your integrity, and your subordinates will trust you.
- People management: Learning to manage people is very different from managing projects or tasks. It requires more patience and understanding. And it helps if you know a little about personality types and how they impact the way people work and communicate. If you aren’t a natural networker, make a point to learn one new thing about each person you interact with daily. This will help you build relationships and gain a better understanding of each person’s unique abilities and contributions to the team.
- Update your records on a weekly basis, and keep them current: Maintaining and keeping on top of your records can streamline your business and reduce the anxiety of getting behind. Nobody likes the tedious task of inputting invoices or updating the expense spreadsheets, but this type of work must remain a daily or weekly priority. Once you make it a routine, and have it down to only a 15-30 minute job you are less likely to build up unnecessary resentment toward this annoying task. Stay proactive, keep your records “inbox” to a minimum, and don’t let yourself fall behind. Once you start putting off inputting data, the pile will grow very quickly. Before you know it, you will be spending an entire day trying to get caught up. Make a daily or weekly schedule as to when you will accomplish this responsibility, and follow through.
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