An office manager is responsible for implementing and maintaining organization in an office and being the liaison between upper management and the rank-and-file employees. A good office manager has maximum efficiency and productivity at the top of her priority list and aims to train employees to work within the organized system. The office manager also may have input with regard to hiring new employees, training and supervising employees, and also handling employee disputes and discipline. As a leader, the office manager is the primary source of guidance for employees and interacting personnel.
Nothing throws off productivity quite like a problem between employees. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a personality clash, while other times it might be more a combination of stress and personal issues. Encourage group cohesion by first getting to know the staff. Taking a few minutes here and there to ask questions, informally, can encourage employees to share what they like and dislike about the work environment, each other and other aspects of their work. Use this information to organize offices or cubicle space and select groups for cooperative tasks. When employees are comfortable talking to the office manager, they are more likely to share with the office manager when they're struggling, and the office manager can use this information to provide extra assistance when needed to keep productivity high.
Encourage Health and Fitness
Some of the most common problems many people face in the U.S. involves health and fitness. Obesity, poor nutrition, heart disease and weight-related health concerns affect nearly a third of the population, and health problems at work is a growing concern of employers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. If possible, an office manager can encourage employees to adopt health and fitness habits that can have a profound effect on reducing stress, improving mood and concentration plus the added benefit of healthier employees, which equates to fewer sick days. Office breakfasts and lunches catered by a local healthy restaurant, could save employees money and time. Employees could have an option to participate for a low fee. Alternatively, an occasional healthy pot luck breakfast or lunch encourages employee participation. Many office buildings are establishing fitness centers for easy access by employees, but a local fitness center or office workout sessions, such as a lunchtime walk, could work as well.
Office managers are responsible for scheduling meetings and other important engagements for upper management and other office staff. In an office where multiple people are making appointments, scheduling conflicts arise. Establishing a system for double-checking all scheduled events and providing sufficient time between appointments for commuting, when necessary, will erase this potential problem for office managers. A synchronized scheduling program on all appointment makers' computers is one approach. Alternatively, a large wall calendar may be placed where all can see and access it, with instructions for employees to write appointments down immediately. The information is then reviewed by the office manager and transferred to the following day's schedule for management and others involved in the appointments.
Increase Frequency but Decrease Time of Meetings
Meetings can be boring. The longer the meeting lasts, the more likely it will become a drudgery. An office manager can reduce the meeting dread by increasing the frequency of meetings, once a day instead of once a week for example, and decreasing the time spent in meetings, such as 10 to 15 minutes rather than an hour. By having a brief meeting every morning or afternoon, office staff is kept up to date on all events and important information without throwing office momentum off. The shorter the meetings the more likely employees will not mind them and this can make the meetings more productive, such as employees having quicker information to share, keeping discussion to key points only and encouraging faster and more efficient knowledge sharing throughout the staff. Another option is to make meetings a bit less formal, encouraging open discussion and sharing coffee and fresh fruit or breakfast in the morning.