10 skills needed to be a fantastic office manager

There are so many Assistants who are also working as an Office Manager and a lot of Office Managers who are also Assistants! The roles are similar, and there are a lot of overlapping skills. However, Office Managers have to take on some high-level tasks and move the business forward. Many Office Managers are in charge of developing and nurturing the office culture, and they have to support and look after pretty much everyone that works within the office. It is a tough and often incredibly demanding role. Here are our 10 skills needed to be a fantastic office manager

1. Decision Making

Things can move pretty quickly for office managers, and so they have to make solid decisions regularly. It could be changing suppliers or promptly deciding what to prioritise over something else. Office Managers are always handling problems in the office, so it is vital to have decision-making skills. Firstly, finding those problems and identifying issues in the organisation and then finding solutions adds so much value. Secondly, dealing with issues as they arise in a cool, calm and professional manner makes an Office Manager worth their weight in gold!

2. Process Management

Office Managers have to develop and maintain processes that keep the business moving forward and working effectively. Managing operations comes very much with an analytical mindset, looking at something that everyone is doing and deciding if it is working effectively and, if not, how to change it for the better (while bringing the team along with you). Office Managers have to find better ways to manage the processes that govern the business.

3. Attention to detail

An excellent Office Manager will make it look seamless like the office runs itself (which we will know does not). Office Managers have to go from organising large projects, working with suppliers, negotiating deals to making sure the coffee hasn’t run out, everyone has a functioning laptop, and the air con is working. All of these tasks, from the mighty to the small, affect staff when they go wrong. So, for Office Managers, they have to make sure everything is running smoothly, which boils down to attention to detail (all the details).

4. Flexibility

Office Managers look at their packed to-do list, and they have to decide which tasks to tackle first when all of the work is a priority with imminent deadlines. They also have their colleagues interrupting them with their urgent questions. Of course, they also want to please and be helpful because they are at the forefront of creating a great office culture; no wonder the role of the Office Manager can be quite overwhelming! Due to the nature of their job, Office Managers have to remain flexible while handling multiple priorities.

5. Leadership

Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes and is never about the job title. Leadership is about taking responsibility for yourself and those around you. It is about owning your work. It is about making a difference in your organisation and adding value. Something Office Managers know a lot about!

6. Communication

Communication is a critical skill for Office Managers (and will become even more essential as AI increases). OMs need to cut through the noise; they need to get to the heart of the matter and communicate what is required in any given situation. They work with a whole range of different personality types, seniority, diversity and backgrounds and, as such, need to adapt their communication style to relay their messages effectively and efficiently.

7. Tech Savvy

Office Managers have to keep up to date with the latest office equipment, apps and technology that their colleagues regularly use. It isn’t the IT department that gets called when the video conferencing system isn’t working – it is the Office Manager!

8. Business Acumen

Understanding the business inside and out is vital for an Office Manager, and it helps them make decisions based on the organisation’s objectives. Understanding finance and how businesses operate is also necessary. If you would like to expand your business acumen, we have a video covering everything you need to know about developing your business acumen on a shoestring budget.

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept

9. Collaborative

We work so much better when we can collaborate with those around us. Office Managers need to collaborate with their Executive (which makes the relationship a partnership, not a dictatorship), share ideas and opinions and work together towards a common goal. There is a reason that there are so many collaboration tools and technologies available to businesses now. Collaboration makes businesses more successful, and Assistants are crucial to that outlook.

10. Prioritisation

With everyone in the office wanting the Office Manager’s time, it is vital to know how and what to prioritise when dealing with everybody’s urgent issues. Again, it helps when Office Managers have good business acumen because they can prioritise based on the organisation’s needs. Still, they also have to understand how to manage their time and workload.