How To Succeed As An Office Manager

17a62c4077c91d58f8862b4a37a96f227133a102 airbnb headquarters by wrns studio 14

An office manager is a crucial function to have in a productive workplace. They serve as the company backbone, ensuring that everything is organized and running smoothly.

But it can be tough to figure out what exactly succeeding in this role entails. Since this position is mainly for self-starters, where should office managers go for assistance?

In a previous post, we talked about the qualities to look for when hiring an office manager. In this one, we share a few tips for excelling as an office manager.

Be Prepared To Be The Face Of The Company

Part of being an office manager is constantly introducing yourself to new people. Yes, we live in the digital age. But some things don’t change.

You should have your own business cards prepared to hand to vendors, colleagues, and anyone who enters the office. On your first day at the job, introduce yourself to everyone on Slack and if possible, in person.

Talk To Your CEO About Your Role

Are you solely in charge of deliveries and orders? Or are you going to be doing a more community management role that involves HR tasks and planning activities for colleagues?

Your CEO will likely tell you about what he or she envisions for this role. But if you have any questions about the specifics of your job, it is preferable that you address them sooner than later.

If you’re assuming an HR role, you’re going to have to learn these skills:

  • Descalating conflict
  • Workplace culture goals
  • Watching out for employee red flags
  • Recommending employees for promotions or terminations

But if you’re doing more traditional office manager role, you should familiarize yourself with these tasks:

  • Event planning
  • Contacting vendors
  • Ensuring your workplace is fully stocked with supplies
  • Making sure the workplace is clean

Don’t be surprised if your role evolves over time. When Melissa Buckley first started at Handshake, she was managing day-to-day facilities and supporting the People team. But now, she does onboarding and offboarding, manages contractors, runs corporate volunteering and events, oversees facilities, and recently designed a summer internship program that aligned with her values and the company’s.

Get Organized

You should set up a daily schedule for yourself as soon as possible. Look into different organizational platforms like Asana and Trello that can help you manage tasks, goals, and projects.

During your first week at the job, set clear goals for each quarter. In addition, you should create a digital rolodex for yourself to story any necessary contacts. Though this might be time-consuming, this will ultimately make your job more efficient in the long run.

Sustain Company Culture

Is your company quirky, spontaneous, and a bit irreverent? Or are things a bit more serious with the occasional company-wide party?

As an office manager, your job isn’t necessarily to disrupt company culture. Rather, you should improve things that are coming up short and continuing events, activities, and traditions that have been proven to be successful.

Be Technologically Relevant

You should never be bogged down in a specific way of doing things. Although all of us have our own strategies and preferred tools, a crucial part of being an office manager is being flexible and curious about new methods.

Subscribe to newsletters that will inform you about cutting-edge platforms and make sure to get general feedback from your colleagues. If they don’t like a certain tool, vendor, or platform, it will be up to you to find a worthy replacement.

Take Personal Time

Office managers have to be people persons. They should be comfortable spending hours being involved in face-to-face and digital communication. However, prioritizing your own mental health is crucial for your long-term success. Don’t be afraid to allocate an hour a day for personal time. Check in with yourself on how you’re doing.

Ask For Help

The office manager role is never an easy one. It’s always changing and you need to adapt and  evolve with it. That’s why it’s important to ask for help when you need it.

Kim Rohrer, who heads Business Operations at Disqus, says “don’t ever forget you have a big community behind you, and you only need to ask. I know that Office Management and People Operations can feel lonely in terms of mentorship or guidance, as we are often the only ones at our companies who do what we do. That said, if you put yourself out there and ask, you’ll find amazing people ready to help."

With the right tools and strategies, being an office manager can be a fulfilling career. If you’re looking for a way to make your daily tasks more efficient, check out Eden.