A company or an organization may comprise a multi-talented resource pool. Their employees may be highly qualified and resourceful. Yet the success or growth may not be at par. Have you ever thought about what could be the reason for it?
Harnessing the people pool into the correct set of activities, guiding, and controlling them is critical and vital. Typically known as “Office Management”, it is the backbone principle or guideline for tactfully and systematically nurturing the talented pool to meet the company’s objectives.
Well, what exactly is the definition of Office Management? What are the functions of office management? What are the typical office management procedures and tips?
Several questions might be popping up in your mind. In this article, we will cover the topic in detail that will help to answer the queries.
What is Office Management? -The Definition
Office Management is the art of planning, organizing, designing, controlling the employees, and curating the activities to achieve the mission, vision, and goal of a company. The management is applicable at a strategic level, tactical level, and even at the operational level. It aims at increasing the focus and attention of the office personnel on their duties and responsibilities.
Motivating and inspiring the employees to achieve the desired deadlines are contributing factors for successful office management. Not only that, the activities and the employees need to be evaluated to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The analysis is leveraged by office managers to introduce better coordination and collaboration among the employees. It proves to be super-efficient in fulfilling the desired objectives effectively.
What is the Objective of Office Management?
Let us try to understand the key objectives of Office Management. It will further help to substantiate the importance and criticality of the matter.
1. Streamline the workflow
A program or an engagement in an office comprises a set of activities or tasks. Smooth and seamless execution of the entire workflow magnifies the efficiency factor. To ensure such a result, robust project governance and control is essential. The management and leadership need to be strong and powerful enough to guide and steer the entire team to the path of success.
2. Collaboration and Coordination
A vital factor and key success criteria when it comes to the future growth of a company. Collaborating with the internal and external stakeholders to prevent ambiguities and disconnect is an important objective of office management. Further coordination between the various departments and business units to prevent miscommunication and conflicts is critical.
3. Inventions and Innovations
Execution of daily mundane work in the regular traditional methods invite stagnancy in growth and efficiency. Companies fail to achieve a reduction in effort and cost, thus decreasing the chances of revenue increase. Office management aims to encourage and stimulate inventions, innovations, deep dive analysis and research work. These in turn will contribute largely to increasing productivity, decreasing the expenditures, and thus a better future growth.
4. Market competition
In today’s business world, there are a lot of players in various industrial sectors and domains. Standing ahead among them and facing the competition smartly and intelligently is a real challenge. CEOs, CFOS, CIOs, etc. are struggling day in and day out to meet up to the numerous hurdles of tough market competition. Office management focuses on equipping the company leadership to adapt to the ever-increasing demands and the changing business environment. Organization change management and training are some of the tools leveraged for achieving the result.
5. Effective Resource utilization
Resources in any form people or the office infrastructure must be leveraged in an optimal way for their effective utilization. Wastage, underutilization, and overutilization all drastically impact the efficiency and smooth functioning of an organization. Office managers strive to ensure the resources are systematically tuned to the activities on hand. Segregation between value and non-value added activities is a key activity for proper resource utilization.
6. Imbibe leadership
Office management helps to instil leadership acumen into the heart of the organization. A leader is one who can influence behavioural change in the way of working in an organization. He or she can judge the capability of the people in action and drive them to operate at their best of abilities. A company with strong and robust leadership is bound to attain faster growth compared to one devoid of a guided leader.
We have now gained a substantial understanding of what is office management and the objective of office management. Let us now focus on its components, functions, and procedures.
What are the different components of Office Management?
Proper functioning of office management depends largely on the presence of the following key elements or components,
1. The Team
It is crucial to select the proper skilled and efficient team since they are the executors of the activities. An office manager’s responsibility is to hire and place the team or the personnel in the tasks as per their expertise and skill set. Though the HR department controls the hiring process yet the office managers conduct the management interviews for selecting the right people in the organization.
Once selected, the next crucial activity of office managers is to allot the tasks as per the schedules and timelines. They need to continuously monitor and control the personnel for timely completion of the programs or projects. Office managers are responsible for providing appropriate guidance and act as mentors to their team.
3. Tools and Technologies
In today’s modern world where technologies are on a constant path of improvement, offices need to gear up accordingly. Office managers must be adequately informed about the trending tools and technologies to be leveraged for their work.
The tools need to be procured and utilized effectively for increasing the productivity and efficiency of the organization. Other than the digital aspect, office supplies such as pen, paper, whiteboards, projectors, etc. are required for the proper functioning of the daily tasks. Office managers need to ensure they are available and leveraged in an optimal fashion.
4. Work Environment
A proper convenient and secure workplace motivates and inspires the employees to work seamlessly and efficiently. They feel the zeal and enthusiasm to complete their scheduled activities within the stipulated time. Work execution happens seamlessly. A well-designed workplace creates a positive effect psychologically on the employees operating out of the office premises. As part of the office management procedures, it is important to pay heed to this particular aspect by introducing industry standards and best practices.
5. Motive and Purpose of the Activities
If an employee performs like a machine by only following instructions without understanding the motive and purpose, the results are not satisfactory. An important objective of management in the office is to propagate the intention of executing their assigned activities. Office managers must specify the goal for each team member.
Office management involves interacting with employees at different hierarchies. Remote office management is a critical part too and challenging since the employees are not present face to face.
What are the functions of office management?
The efficiency of office managers depends on structured planning to achieve the desired objectives. But before doing that, you must list down the goals of the company. Against each goal or objective, you must plan out the approach that needs to be followed for attaining it. Once the approach is finalized, the next step is to create a program or project plan. The tasks and activities are to be created based on the plan and timelines assigned for each. Each task must be assigned to an owner, some assign a primary and a secondary owner as a backup. There are planners available online that can be utilized and shared between the members.
The plans, their tasks, and timelines must be strictly monitored and controlled to prevent slippage. An efficient office manager delegates the work among competent leads for smooth and fasted execution of the work.
Planning and organizing must run vis-à-vis while ensuring effective management in the office. The availability of the right resources for each of the tasks at hand is vital and crucial for the successful completion of a program. Hardware, software, materials, financials, the team personnel are the key inputs. To ensure all are present and as per the needs, office managers must perform an estimate of each before initiating the program. Some resources need to be procured and hence the process of requisition and purchasing must be dealt with before.
3. Resourcing / Staffing
Proper and adequate staffing of team members is an important function of office managers. Hence the hiring and recruitment process must be well organized. Though the HR department of a company handles most of the activities yet office managers play a vital role in the interview process. Technical and managerial aspects must be kneaded into the interview process.
Office managers need to constantly plan for staffing requirements by coordinating closely with the teams. The requirement must be passed over to the HR department monthly or quarterly as per the criticality to start the hiring process.
After onboarding employees, the next step is to manage the performance compensation processes. Setting up parameters for the assessment and providing weightage and scoring are some of the best practices for the performance evaluation of employees. Promotion is also a vital point in staffing, needs due attention to motivate employees.
Be it Remote office management or on-premise office management, communication plays a vital role. Communication is required at all levels with stakeholders, peers, supervisors, managers, leaders, and within the team members. It can be written or verbal. The crucial point is communication needs to be concise, clear, and free of any ambiguities.
Lack of effective communication leads to misunderstanding, severely hampering the progress of a program. One of the key functions of office management is to create a strong communication framework and mechanism throughout the different departments and teams of the company. Telephonic conversations, email communications, video calls, web meetings must be arranged as and when required. Office managers must investigate in identifying robust and effective communication modes for meetings, conference calls, and daily interactions.
5. Identify the right technology
Investing in the right tools and technology is one of the vital functions of office management. Technology in the modern world is ever-evolving, the digital world is the trend. Office managers must ensure to get the right technology for their staff. They need to work in close coordination with the IT department to procure the best systems and applications for faster and smooth execution of their programs. Software for project management, design and development, conducting meetings, document sharing, telephones, laptops, network connectivity are some of the examples.
6. Inspiration and Motivation
Other than the material things, office managers must focus on the mental and psychological aspect of their employees. They need to motivate and inspire the team to bring in their best of abilities. Inspiring to move ahead will instil focus and constant dedication. It also helps to create trust and confidence between the manager and the team members.
This function is very needed and mandatory when you are working with remote professionals. Calling and talking with team members casually, providing incentives for performance, conducting quizzes and debate are some of the office management tips that can be adopted.
7. Training and Competency Build
Identifying the training needs, cross-skilling and upgrading the competency levels of the office personnel is important. Office managers cannot afford to maintain an employee base who are backdated and not in sync with the market demands. In many organizations, there is a dedicated Training department that focuses on arranging training through internal tutors or external instructors.
Certifications are also considered a part of the training and learning functions. Encouraging employees to attend professional certifications is one of the important functions of office management.
Enforcing the norms and rules to be followed by all professionals in an organization is a mandatory criterion for success. It helps to maintain discipline within the teams. Maintaining dress codes, punctuality, presence during office hours, respecting each other’s dignity are some of the office management tips.
An office manager must also mentor and guide the employees and listen to their grievances too. Many companies install a grievance redressal tool or mechanism for all employees. The grievances are addressed by the office managers for a mutually acceptable resolution.
By now, you must have acquired a sufficient understanding of how to manage an office efficiently and effectively. We will now focus on some of the typical office management jobs. This information will guide you in your career in office management, the areas where you can focus on.
Typical Office Management Jobs
1. Corporate Jobs
Involves the management of a particular corporate department of a branch in a company or an organization. In certain cases, the jobs may involve managing a division segregated based on the services offered, product lines, or a regional one. They need to manage their branch as well as coordinate and collaborate with the other branches too. Certain corporate jobs involve being part of the headquarters of a company. They need to foresee a particular department for example Finance, Marketing, Sales, Huma Resources etc.
2. Medical Jobs
Medical jobs in office management involve hospital administration activities. Ensuring all medical facilities are maintained is a vital activity. Controlling the hospital staff, the doctors presence and maintaining the records of patients are to be governed and organized by medical office managers.
3. Legal Jobs
Legal office managers should be acquainted with the laws prevailing in a country or region and the corporate regulations. They must be aware of both civil and criminal laws. Companies employ them to provide guidance and foresee any legal breaches in all the departmental activities.
4. Virtual management Jobs
Many companies hire managers to work from remote locations. They prefer managers present in various regions and engaging with stakeholders in a virtual mode. The office managers may occasionally be invited for face to face meetings may be monthly once or twice.
Hope the article has provided you elaborate guidance on how to manage an office conveniently and with ease.