Good office management begins with a clear understanding of what it’s exactly about, so let’s start with this simple definition: Office management is the technique of planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling office activities to maximize productivity.
Another way of putting it is that office management involves making sure that the personnel, tools, and processes in your office are working efficiently and helping you achieve your business objectives.
In stark contrast, there’s mismanagement in the office when systems are lacking and procedures are not being followed. Your office processes may be unclear to your employees, such that they don’t know how to do their jobs properly.
In the end, your employees may experience reduced productivity, and your workplace environment becomes a corporate jungle of sort. In fact, bad management may result in a domino effect: when employees are unproductive, the business will not grow until, eventually, the company may be forced to close shop.
The Experts Have Spoken
No one wants to work in a badly managed office, which is why it pays to know what experts have to say about running an office, an organization, or a business. Here’s what they recommend:
1. Clearly assign responsibilities (even the little ones)
In team sports like basketball, volleyball, and baseball, each person has a designated role to play. It’s very clear which player should keep the ball moving around or which post a player should occupy to help the team stay in the game, and ultimately, win.
This is true for the different business units in your company as well. There has to be a point person for every task—whether it’s as major as managing a client account or something more administrative like answering the phone—so there will be no confusion within the team as to who should do what.
Assigning responsibilities also prevents teams from resorting to a blaming game, which according to Canadian writer Robin Sharma is “… nothing more than excusing yourself.”
2. Always update your business records
Records about your business or your customers should always be up-to-date since they’re one of the most important assets of your organization. If you kept sending office correspondence to someone who has already left a particular company, it’s impossible for your message to reach or make an impact to the intended person.
That said, you’ll need to invest in software that lets you manage customer accounts and their information, as this will determine your ability to keep your records intact and organized. If you can’t get people to trust your company for the quality of work or service that you have to offer to them, you may be exposing your business to irreparable damage.
As Warren Buffett says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”
3. Analyze your office space
You and your employees spend a great deal of time in the office, which is why you need to make it as pleasing to the senses as possible. Abhishek Ratna, author of the book “No Parking. No Halt. Success Non Stop!” describes the work environment as something that can “bring out the ‘best’ or the ‘worst’” in people. Needless to say, the latter isn’t the most ideal of situations since negativity among employees can make your office a toxic place for the rest of the team.
To avoid running into a similar problem, make it a habit to spend a few minutes every day walking around your office and observing things: Is there enough space for everyone to move about? Are lighting and electrical fixtures installed properly? Is air circulating well around the office? Then use your observations to draw up plans on any improvement that your office needs.
4. Organize workload
Business magnate Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” As a business owner or manager, you need to see to it that your employees have the best working conditions, including a manageable workload and schedule. When employees are overworked, they’re prone not only to stress and burnout but also to increased desire to be isolated from other members of the team.
If you see these signs from your employees, be ready to implement some intervention measures. The goal is to improve the well-being of your employees by reducing or eliminating the source of the problem, but at the same time, keeping the business operations in check.
5. Choose to delegate
Dr. John Maxwell, American author of personal growth and leadership books, has this to say about delegating tasks: “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
Dr. Maxwell’s insight extends to your office management duties, too. Your office will be so much more efficient running like a well-oiled machine if you know how to delegate tasks, whether it’s asking someone in your team to stay on top of administrative tasks or requesting an outsourcing provider to help you find a flexible workspace in the Philippines.
The key is in having a dedicated person or organization do the things that you don’t have the time or expertise to do on your own.
Cultivating Good Office Management
The success of your day-to-day business operations depends greatly on the efficiency of your office—from your staff performance to your workplace environment and more. It’s always good to have an outside perspective on how to run an office, starting off with experts in office management and workspace setup. When the physical and organizational aspects of your office are as ideal as they can be, harmony and productivity in the office won’t be far behind.
Jen spent eight years in real estate, with six years in commercial leasing and facility management. She is now the leasing director of Figari handling leasing and business development. Her charisma and dynamic attitude certainly make her the life of the party. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and getting a tan.