As an office manager, one of the hardest aspects of the job is juggling the various and sundry tasks you need to get done each day. Your time is limited and precious. And even if you work past the standard 8-hour day, which many office managers normally do, you might feel as if you’re barely keeping your head above water.
If you wish to excel at your job and keep some sort of work-life balance, you need to manage your time effectively and wisely. To that end, below we’ll discuss some actions you can take and techniques you can employ to be sure that you’re working smarter, not harder. From setting clear goals for your day to installing commercial lockers to take the mailroom burden off your shoulders, you’ll find that these ideas will make your life as an office manager much smoother. So, keep reading to discover how to manage an office effectively.
Tips to Effectively Manage an Office
In 2018, Snacknation conducted a study that polled hundreds of office managers from various industries. When queried about their top challenges, 37.5% of respondents claimed that their primary issue was an intense workload and not enough time to get it done. The study found that:
“This was true despite the fact that office managers tend to work long hours. Nearly half of respondents reported working more than 8 hours a day on average. 14% were putting in 10 hour days.”
Seeing this, the following are just a few of the ways you can make your day run more efficiently:
- Plan ahead – Avoid going to sleep without an actionable plan for the next day in mind. Waking up with the dread that there’s so much to do and so little time can create a state of decision paralysis that impacts decision making or causes you to be aimless and listless as you go about your day. Ideally, you should end your workday by briefly outlining the 5 most important tasks you need to address on your to-do list for the following day. Doing this will remind you to focus on those important tasks so that when you do get them done, you will feel a lot more productive with your day.
- Set SMART goals – Goal setting is the crux of practically any time management strategy. It allows you to focus on and tackle specific issues, both in the short- and long-term. Doing this lets you break up work, create deadlines, manage workflow, and enjoy small victories with each checked or crossed-out task. These days, many office managers will set SMART goals, so that they have a clear understanding of who, what, when, and why:
- Specific – Goal states exactly what needs to be done.
- Measurable – Goal can be measured or analyzed with tools or software.
- Attainable – Clear goals that aren’t vague or pie in the sky, but actually feasible.
- Relevant – Set tasks for yourself that will create immediate and positive impacts.
- Time-bound – Create due dates and timelines for tasks to be finished.
- Learn to delegate – Because they wear so many hats, many office managers take on, get assigned, or stuck with tasks that fall outside their purview. Sometimes you just assume it’s easier to handle on your own than take the time to train someone else. That said, delegating tasks that don’t require your time or that could be done by someone else another employee lower on the staff totem pole, like an intern, is an important part of being an office manager. At some point, you need to relinquish tasks that don’t necessarily require your attention in favor of those that someone else couldn’t do.
- Look for “time sucks” – On the same note, there are certain tasks that are being done inefficiently and/or are taking up far too much of your time. An example of this might be your package management system. If your business is receiving multiple packages per day, each time the postman comes in, you need to disrupt your workflow and spend roughly five minutes of your time signing, sorting, and delivering the package. By installing smart package lockers, such as those made by Parcel Pending, you could save thirty minutes to an hour of time each day that you’d otherwise be spending playing postman. Embracing new technology in the workplace with smart lockers will bring a new wave of efficiency in modern office systems.
Often the small investment in smart solutions such as lockers, task management software, and ticketing systems, will improve office efficiency and productivity resulting in hundreds of hours and dollars saved over the course of the year.
Managing Your Office
Managing an office is no easy task. Often, it’s a thankless and stressful role. However, by taking steps to increase efficiency and use your time more wisely, you can ensure that you’re prepared on a daily basis and reduce the stress that you put on yourself. So, remember to plan ahead, set goals, delegate tasks, and find areas where new tech could increase productivity. Do this Follow these management tips, and you’ll be an office manager all-star.
Snacknation. 11 Effective Time Management Tips for Busy Office Managers. https://www.snacknation.com/blog/time-management-tips-office-managers/
Rampton, J. Forbes. Manipulate Time With These Powerful 20 Time Management Tips. (2018). https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2018/05/01/manipulate-time-with-these-powerful-20-time-management-tips/#6bb5ff0857ab
Osterhaus, E. Quickbooks. 8 time management tips to grow your small business. https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/employees/8-tips-for-effective-time-management/