A Day in the Life of an Office Manager

Posted on Friday, July 30, 2021 by The Office ManagerNo comments

An office manager has the tough task of ensuring that everything within the office runs smoothly and efficiently. Their role includes a diverse range of skills and responsibilities, from people management to financial and administrative tasks. It’s a varied role which may see elements of a PA position (such as organising meetings and booking transport), through to aspects of facilities management (ordering furniture) and HR (inducting new employees).

It can be an attractive career goal for those in office support jobs in London, so we thought it would be helpful to give you the inside scoop. We chatted with Sandra, a successful office support manager who is soon to retire, to find out what her average day looks like.

What is your background?

I had a previous career doing admin in financial services. I stopped when I had children. I then went back to work as a PA on a part-time basis for many years. I actually started where I am now as a temp PA after redundancy. I’ve been here for 15 years now!

What’s a typical day like for you?

I’m always on the phone and if I’m not on the phone, I’m nearly always on the move! I do spend time sitting at my desk, doing emails and things, but the role of an office manager is surprisingly active. I often rank up about 14,000 steps a day on my pedometer—I’m not sure how!

I’m back and forth between different people, as with office management it’s often easier, quicker, and more efficient to just go straight to who needs you. If I’m overseeing a repair, I’ll take the tradesperson to where they need to go and keep checking in, or if I’ve got a new starter I’ll make sure to swing by their desk multiple times, that sort of thing.

An office manager can’t just sit behind their desk and expect it’ll all just come to them. It may, but it would be bedlam!

What is best and worst about being an office manager?

I guess the worst thing is that sometimes it is impossibly busy. It’s just bad luck, but you can bet that everything that will go wrong will go wrong at the same time! However, I’m very calm and patient, so this doesn’t tend to phase me too much. I love my job and consider that a real privilege. I work with great people and I feel that by doing my job well, they have an easier time. They are also very appreciative for all that I do and that of course makes me feel good!

If you didn’t do this job what would you do?

I honestly can’t see myself in a different role, but I guess an admin type role of some degree. With office management I really love the mix of what I do and I’m not sure where else I would get that. I will definitely miss it when I retire later in the year!

What advice would you give someone considering a career in office management?

Go for it! Get lots of admin experience under your belt and make sure that your organisational skills are top notch. You’ll want to be a natural problem-solver and able to adapt to whatever the office throws at you! If you can, try some basic budgeting or finance courses as I’ve found these have really helped. Being a PA is a good entry point for office management. 


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