The primary goals of office managers are to ensure staff and customers
are happy, office equipment works effectively and production is at its utmost.
Paperwork and personalities are what office managers deal with most. Virtually
every industry employs these administrators to ensure the smooth running of
their offices and the effectiveness of their staff. Many companies also contract
out these services to external firms or consultants.
The duties of office managers can be as diverse as the kinds of industries
that employ them. Responsibilities often depend on the size of the firm. In
large firms, managers are considered part of middle management.
They oversee clerical supervisors, establish work priorities and coordinate
office services, such as equipment and supplies. They develop plans to increase
productivity and improve supportive services. They are often included in the
hiring and firing process of the administrative staff.
In smaller firms, office managers' responsibilities often include secretarial
and administrative duties, payroll preparation, information processing, correspondence
and the delegation of duties to clerical staff.
Office managers generally work a standard 40-hour week in comfortable,
modern offices. However, they are sometimes required to work overtime, without
compensation, to resolve problems.
These managers are experts in office procedures and have a good understanding
of word processing, communications, data processing, inventory and record
Virtually every industry employs office managers -- government, the private
sector in wholesale and retail trade, communications firms, insurance, real
estate and lawyer's offices, financial institutions and all other service
This is not a job that requires a high degree of physical fitness. It does,
however, require an ability to work under stress and deal effectively with
"You have to be a people person to be a good office manager," says Larry
Baranow. He is an office manager at a large food services company. "You're
in the middle with people below you and people above you, and you've got to
answer to all of them."
If you have great organizational and problem-solving skills, if you are
analytical and decisive and have no objection to paperwork, this may be a
job for you.