When it comes to office management, we're really talking about office efficiency and all the aspects that factor into the effective performance of office work. Office management involves coordinating office activities and helping to maintain employee satisfaction. The key words here are efficiency and effectiveness — when a business is properly managed, there is control over office activities, a reduction of company costs, happy employees, and coordination of all enterprise activities.

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To stifle any confusion, there are many types of managers that work in offices (IT or sales managers, for example). However, office management specifically refers to the administrative positions of companies. Of course, other management positions are naturally departmental, but office managers are far more general. Simply put, an office manager is concerned with the daily details and workings of the overall workplace environment.


The focus of this definition is on the personnel because the road to an efficient workplace is paved with hardworking, efficiently managed individuals. Office managers are often responsible for desk space, supplies, office or administrative budget, staff training, arranging travel, and managing other facility staff. A successful office manager in any field must understand the behavior and needs of their employees, so they can learn how to best motivate their workers with the appropriate incentives.

Office management is used within various fields, although there are many similarities across the board. Each office management job contains specific aspects that set them apart from the rest.


Types of Office Management Jobs

There are a variety of office management jobs, however, the basic duties of these managers are quite similar. Besides supervising the smooth running of a company's administration, making sure that needed supplies are provided and that office equipment is in working order, office managers can sometimes hire, fire, train, and promote employees.


Corporate Office Management

Corporate office management jobs include the manager at each branch of a given company. The district manager (typically located at the head office) oversees all other branch managers, therefore traveling between company branch locations is often a main aspect of the job. Additionally, corporate office managers plan new organizational approaches for human resources and marketing campaigns.


Medical Office Management

Medical office management requires detailed knowledge of anatomy and lab procedures, as well as health care laws. Medical office managers typically work in doctor's offices, where they supervise all medical assistants. Additional crucial responsibilities include patient confidentiality and the proper disposal of medical waste.


Legal Office Management

Legal office management jobs require practical law experience and an extensive understanding of law procedures. Law office managers oversee a practice's legal administrative assistants, payroll management, and the firm's human resources department.


Virtual Office Management

Rather than work for one business at a time as a full-time employee, virtual office managers often work for several smaller companies part-time. This is due to the tendency of small businesses to contract out virtual office management jobs. It's no surprise that remote jobs of all caliber are on the rise, therefore virtual office managers are an attractive option for steadily growing small businesses that don't yet require an on-site office manager.

What is office management? Office Management Definition


6 Key Office Management Functions

1. Planning

Creating a structure of the responsibilities required to achieve the objectives of your company is a key function of office management. When you fully recognize the short and long term goals of your respective business, you can then plan your approach to achieving the goals. Detailed planning and meeting organization is the first step toward efficient operations and facilitating control.


2. Organizing Resources

Organizing resources walks hand in hand toward achieving company goals with planning. These resources include materials, personnel, and financial backing. The next stage after planning for office managers is task delegation, such as identifying which materials are necessary and assigning those materials to chosen personnel. The best office managers consistently coordinate tasks in order to keep these resources moving toward planned goals.


3. Staffing

Another key responsibility of the office manager is staffing. Executive office managers run lead or coordinate with human resources on all matters of staffing recruitment, compensation, promotion, and retirement of subordinate managers.


4. Communication

Effective communication, a staple of any high-functioning operation, is a necessary factor of office management. If an office manager is unable to properly dictate the needs of the company to its employees, then optimum efficiency will not be possible. Does one team need a certain sized meeting space to hold their weekly meetings? Do they have the technology they need in that space? Remember, good communication goes both ways. If this same office manager is unable to articulate the needs of your company, then the issue may be that this office manager is not a good fit for your organization.


5. Working with IT

Modern office managers use technology quite a bit on the job. They may use software for their own day to day role and also help to manage the software and technology for employees. Perhaps your company uses digital facilities management software. Office managers also work with the IT department to ensure that all meeting rooms are running smoothly, and should be trained on all video conferencing technology and Wifi connection for employees and guests.


6. Motivation

A highly complex factor of office management, motivation comes in two forms. Self-motivation and external motivation. When your employees are self-motivated, the job of the office manager is made easier. But when they are not, that is where the job of office management is to externally motivate. This motivation should satisfy the employees' needs while being competitive, productive, and comprehensive. When external motivation does all of this, your office workers will have high morale and be more likely to improve their performance.

Office managers are some of the few people who interact with every level of employee, either virtually or face-to-face every day. As office cultures around the world continue to expand and shift, the significance of the office manager role will increase.

Smart Office Guide from Owl Labs