Depending upon the size of the company the job title “Office Manager” may take on a slightly different flavor. Some office managers simply manage personnel whose individual job titles and tasks make up the entire skill set required in smaller offices. The title of “Office Manager” can encompass a mind-boggling array of skill levels, personality types, and even schools of discipline.
Office Manager: A/P, collections, receptionist, janitor, webmaster, marketing, filing clerk, copy machine coordinator, writer, H/R.
— Riggins Construction (@RigginsConst) September 14, 2010
One day you may be the Accounts Payable Clerk and another, the entire Collections Department. You may field calls like a Receptionist while dealing with a Human Resources issue. By morning you are the head of the Marketing Department and in the afternoons you clean the toilets–well, maybe it doesn’t go that far, but you get the point. The diversity of tasks goes way beyond their titles and presumed prestige (or lack thereof). You may need to actually switch personalities in between.
No one is encouraging split personality disorder, yet there is a strategic mentality shift depending upon the audience. Appeasing your boss and deferring to his request is more of a passive mindset which will not work well when calling on a 45-day past-due invoice. In that case maintaining an appeasing mindset could actually be detrimental to your performance in this area and seriously mess with your cash flow.
Myth of Multitasking
The myth of (the overreaching benefits of) multitasking (saved for another post) can be crippling to an Office Manager. The mental shifting between tasks (and strategies thereof) does take time; this is why I recommend an actual or mental blocking out of your work schedule. Obviously, there are going to be moments of interruption; that said, having a basic plan does help.
For example, for collections on receivables, the best time to call people is between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday. If you need something that requires a call, that is the time when people are most responsive to your request. Sit down and sketch something out or make a spreadsheet in Excel. List out your duties and arrange them in a way that makes sense to your specific job. Experiment with it and see which makes you more productive.
- Do you agree or disagree with the premise?
- As an office manager, what are your responsibilities?
- Make your own workload schedule.
- What are your tips?
- More Office Manager Tips