How To Become An Office Manager (Job Description And Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 January 2023

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The role of an office manager is an exciting career option with several opportunities in diverse industries. They handle the functioning of an office through a range of administrative, financial and managerial tasks. Understanding the educational requirements, duties and responsibilities of an office manager can help you decide if you want to pursue this career path. In this article, we discuss how to become an office manager, understand what responsibilities they have and enlist tips on becoming a better office manager.

Related: What Does A Front Office Executive Do? (Skills And Salary)

How to become an office manager

Consider the following steps to learn how to become an office manager:

1. Understand the requirements

Office manager jobs typically require soft skills such as communication, administration and leadership. It takes time to improve these skills and it is advisable to develop them early in your career. Though some technical skills may also be indispensable, depending on department, organisation or industry, it is possible to learn those skills at the job itself. The specific requirements of an office manager may also vary between industries.

2. Complete the required educational degree

Although most office manager jobs require a bachelor's degree in any discipline, but disciplines like management, hospitality and accounting may be beneficial. Courses in these fields teach many skills which are necessary for an office manager's job role. You may also choose to get a master's degree, such as the master of business administration (MBA) before applying for a job.

3. Gain relevant skills

Apart from having an educational degree, having relevant skills on your resume helps your job application stand out. You can enrol for several short-term management, personality development, finance or leadership courses or certifications. Utilise this opportunity to develop and further your organisational, managerial and leadership skills.

4. Gather work experience

Since most office managers require relevant work experience, you can start with an entry-level job in an administrative support role. Apply for an entry-level job or internship in the industry of your choice. This work experience will allow you to gain crucial organisational knowledge and experience required to lead and manage an office successfully.

5. Apply for an office manager job

Once you have the right qualifications, skills and experience, create an impressive resume that highlights your strengths. Remember to update your resume as you gain new skills and experience and customise the cover letter and application for each job. Furthermore, mention relevant references and recommendations of your mentors and senior leaders.

Important functions of an office manager

Office managers are critical for the smooth operation of any business office. The specific tasks and duties of office managers may vary depending on the department, organisation and industry. Some of their day-to-day responsibilities may include:

Overseeing administrative processes

Office managers conceptualise and implement the administrative processes and workflows to achieve the organisation's goals. Staffing and training also are often part of their responsibility. They oversee day-to-day processes like payroll, accounting and supply management. This allows office managers to identify and address inefficiencies, empower employees to work more productively and increase organisational efficiency.

Managing people

One of the most significant roles of an office manager is to act as a facilitator between the executive team and frontline employees. They are responsible for communicating company updates and office policies, as well as implementing them. The office manager guides employees to ensure the specific tasks and processes run efficiently. Having good leadership and communication skill helps their abilities in managing people.

Supporting senior leaders

Office managers help the senior leadership team with secretarial tasks like managing meetings, scheduling calendars, booking travel-related arrangements and answering calls and emails on their behalf. They may also support senior leaders in preparing presentations and reports. Furthermore, office managers take care of visitors, minutes of meetings, official correspondence and external vendors.

Skills required for an office manager

Office managers frequently liaison between various departments, whether it is communication between upper management and employees, or external vendors and internal teams. They are responsible for developing the office culture and looking after everyday office processes. These tasks are demanding and require the following skills:

  • administrative skills

  • communication skills

  • organizational skills

  • problem-solving skills

  • leadership skills

  • attention to detail

  • analytical skills

  • computer skills

  • time management

  • interpersonal skills

10 easy tips to become a better office manager

Although every company may have its unique management style, the basic skills required of office managers are generally the same. Here are some easy tips can help you become a better office manager:

1. Communicate with employees

This can be a very crucial factor in deciding how efficiently a manager can communicate with the employees. Knowing employees better helps managers understand their challenges, needs and motivation. Similarly, employees feel valued and develop a sense of belonging when they get a platform.

2. Understand how to motivate your team

Motivated employees lead to healthy workplace culture. A motivated team can achieve high productivity and help an organisation succeed. Open communication, tangible incentives and positive feedback can help increase employee motivation.

Related: How To Motivate Employees: 18 Steps For Workplace Success

3. Appreciate your team's effort

Appreciation is a powerful technique and skilled office managers can apply it to improve workplace morale. Appreciating people makes them feel valued and encourages them to work with dedication. A meaningful public appreciation of employees also motivates others to perform well.

4. Learn to negotiate effectively

Office managers often have to resolve conflicts between teams or employees. A manager with effective negotiation skills can understand the interests of both sides and propose suitable solutions. Some people are inherently excellent negotiators, but you can improve your negotiation skills through confidence training and practice.

Related: Negotiation Skills: Definitions, Benefits And Examples

5. Develop problem-solving skills

When an employee or team face a problem, office managers are usually the first point of contact. Managers with good problem-solving skills can help in such a situation and train their teams to solve problems themselves. Effective problem-solving skills reduce obstacles and improve workflow efficiency. Office managers may have to solve many unanticipated challenges during their workday.

6. Improve computer skills

Modern office operations involve a high usage of digital technology to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Tasks such as analysing performance data, creating reports, sending invoices, scheduling meetings, booking travel-related accommodations and communicating with others, often using digital tools and applications. Having a good command over computer skills helps a manager do their day-to-day tasks and helps improve efficiency and productivity.

Related: Computer Skills: Definition And Example

7. Make yourself approachable

Being approachable is key to building a productive relationship and a strong team. Team members with approachable office managers feel safe in contributing a new idea and take up additional responsibilities. Office managers can make themselves more approachable by being accessible, reducing the perceived barrier to interaction and using appropriate body language.

8. Be empathetic

Managing people effectively usually requires understanding them and situations, which often require listening to them empathetically. Being empathetic is a great way to show your concern for the team and communicate your point effectively. Develop emotional intelligence, mindful and empathy to offer unbiased and fair solutions to the people you work with and make them feel valued.

9. Understand behavioural psychology

Understanding how and why people behave in a certain way can help you perform your job and negotiate successfully. Applying behavioural psychology in planning business processes and communications can also improve productivity levels. Thus, read up on how the human brain functions or enrol for a short-term course to develop a foundational understanding of the subject.

10. Set SMART goals

A SMART goal is a well-planned, precise and measurable goal. It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Office managers are well-suited to apply the SMART approach in their daily life, considering the dynamic nature of their role. Although some targets may seem challenging, using the SMART framework can help organise the process and achieve goals efficiently.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition And Examples

Sample job description of an office manager

Here is a sample job description of an office manager:

Wavewood Studios is looking for a well-organised office manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of their central office in Gurugram. Candidates with a positive attitude, self-motivation, desire to work efficiently and excellent public-facing communication skills should apply. We are looking for someone who can work with little or no supervision and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Prior work experience is desirable. Salary as per industry standard.

Average salary for office managers

The average base salary for an office manager is ₹16,391 per month. Office managers earn an average salary of ₹30,909 in Delhi, the highest in the entire country. The industry and organisation also influence the average salary figure significantly.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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