The office manager, no matter the line of work in question, plays an important role in establishing the overall office environment. While other employees in the office may be guided by more specific roles, the office manager often juggles a little bit of everything. From managing and monitoring employee progress, to task organization and delegation and customer relationship management, the office manager bears several responsibilities that can make the job stressful if handled inefficiently. Luckily there are several office management tools that go beyond Office 365 management tools that can help an office manager do their job more efficiently.
The office manager is often tasked with tracking employees’ progress on specific assignments, a job that can become dizzying without some digital help. There are several free office software programs (with upgrades available for an additional cost) that provide a streamlined digital approach to project management and are relatively simple to use. Asana, for example, allows you to delegate assignments and track progress with timelines and comments, while Trello is made up of task boards resembling the DIY feel of post-its that track assignment progress and monitor employee collaboration.
An office manager is often responsible for establishing effective modes of communication in the workplace, a hefty task that Microsoft office project management tools can’t exactly help with. Office-wide communication tools like Slack allow employees to converse with their colleagues in one-on-one chats or in wider group discussions, called channels, that can be organized around team projects or specific conversation topics. Fleep is another communication tool that may be better for teams that are frequently communicating with clients or others outside their company. A third option, Flock, boasts the added bonus of email list building, a tool that can come in handy for an office manager drowning in emails.
Customer and client relations may also be a part of an office manager’s major role. Insightly is a great customer relationship management tool that helps manage assignment progress and client expectations by gathering information in one place. It has plenty of useful integrations to other applications such as Evernote and Dropbox, and unlike other applications, it can detect any social media accounts attached to an email address.
While we’ve largely done away with landlines in every other part of our lives, the office is one of the last places where they prevail. Maybe not for much longer, though. Dialpad is a new phone system that allows users to accept calls on their computer or smartphones, doing away with the cumbersome desk phone and reducing the office’s landline expenses drastically. Dialpad performs all the functions of a normal landline, including 3-way calling, call transferring, and placing callers on hold, in addition to supporting voice-only and video calls.
Aside from the more administrative duties, an office manager should make sure spirits are high and the energy in the office is positive. If people are unhappy, the office manager should be the first one to know about it and try to fix it. Ensuring a baseline level of comfort can be as simple as making sure that no one is too hot or too cold. A smartphone app called Comfy allows you to adjust light and temperature levels in various parts of the office to ensure that no one is working in an uncomfortable environment.