What is Office Management?
Any business will need aspects of organization, planning, communications, co-operation and control, all of which are usually carried out by a group of different people who are jointly referred to as ‘the office’. Office management is therefore the structuring, control and effectiveness of this group of people and so will entail a mixture of skills or at least a basic knowledge of each of them.
Having chosen the location of the office you will need to consider certain aspects to ensure the ideal potential for efficiency of work and comfortable environment. These therefore are some of the main points you should consider when designing the office space.
Although there are several factors that can affect any business’s ‘bottom line’, effective and efficient office management is certainly among the most common.
Main Elements of Office Management
As mentioned, an office will include several different skill sets and so it is essential for office management to hire people with the correct skill sets for each of those tasks. It will be the responsibility of the office manager to ensure adequate, qualified staff are available whilst ensuring there is not excessive staff for the tasks. This means that they must allocate appropriate and adequate terms of reference for each staff member, ensuring no overlaps where not needed.
The office manager must ensure that each of the office staff are adequately equipped to carry out their designated tasks. Whilst ensuring there is adequate computers, paper, ink, pens or pencils, the office manager must also monitor their use ensuring there is no excessive expense on office supplies.
Although some physical aspects of an office’s environment may be determined by the type of business it deals with, as a good working environment is essential for better efficiency, an office manager must maintain the highest possible environmental conditions for the staff. Ergonomic furniture may reduce instances of absence due to aches and pains. Good lighting is essential for errorless work and of course a good room temperature also promotes efficiency.
An office manager may have hired experts in the different fields but those experts may not have experience of this type of business. It is therefore necessary for the office manager to ensure that each member of the staff is aware of not only their role in the office, but how that role affects others in the office. This is done hopefully in a way that promotes cohesion and co-operation among the different office staff.
For a business to be successful it is not just a matter of having one aspect of the office being good if the rest of the office tasks cannot match that standard. It is the overall office performance which will be of most benefit to any business and so the staff working together for a combined goal is essential for good office management.
Good communications both between office staff and other people they may need to communicate with in order to complete their allotted tasks is imperative. Whilst communication systems are getting faster and cheaper, it is still important to ensure all staff have suitable and reliable systems available to them.
Whilst almost anything can be achieved with personal cell phones today, they can also be a huge distraction and so restricting staff to a communications system provided by the office manager, can often reduce distractions and increase efficiency.
These are the 4 main points of office management however, specialized businesses such as medical or legal offices may need additional attention and added staff.
Although larger businesses today may usually have a human resource department that looks after the aspects of office management, even the smallest of businesses must establish and maintain some form of office management if they are to be competitively efficient.