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Office Manager

As an office manager you are the glue that sticks all the different departments of a business together. It is your job to make sure the business runs smoothly by supervising office processes, admin (things like budgets, payroll and timesheets), to the supply of office equipment.

The nature of an office manager's work depends on the type and size of business, but your typical 'to do' list will probably include:

  • Control of office budgets
  • Arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Ordering stationery, office equipment and furniture
  • Organising office maintenance and repair
  • Supervising and monitoring the work of clerical and secretarial staff
  • Completing payroll paperwork and timesheets
  • Discussing problems with staff
  • Reporting to management to review office performance
  • Reviewing and updating the company's health and safety policy, and arranging checks
  • Organising and leading induction programmes for new joiners
  • If you're more keen on the 'management' part of the job then you're better off looking for a role in a larger organisation, here you'll have more back-up which will afford you the luxury of delegating admin work.

Hours and environment

You'll basically work 9am to 5pm, unless it's a particularly busy time in the office - for example if you're in charge of an office move.

It's an office based role so it is rare that you will be asked to travel overseas or overnight. You might however have to work between sites during the day if your business has multiple offices.

It's a full-time, busy job, so unfortunately there aren't too many flexible working opportunities out there. Job sharing, however, is becoming more common if you don't want to be a slave to the 9 to 5 grind.

Skills and interests

The role involves working with everyone in the business and balancing lots of different needs and tasks. So, apart from being tireless, the most important skills you can demonstrate are a good way with people and great organisational abilities.

To really make your mark as an efficient office manager it will also help if you are a whizz at the following:

  • Good written skills
  • Good at problem-solving
  • Confident project management
  • Good at multi-tasking
  • Are reliable
  • Confident with IT and the basic office software packages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc)
  • Show good initiative
  • Entry
  • Employers do tend to prefer graduates and those with an HND for the role, but there is no substitute for the right experience and skills

Work experience is really important no matter what your background. Even graduates will need a couple of years' office experience before being considered for the role. Temping or taking a full time role as an office administrator are the usual routes in. These help you get to grips with office life and will give you some understanding of employment legislation.

Not all degrees or qualifications are equal. It may increase your chances if your qualification is in a business, computing or management type subject.


When you first walk in the door you'll be given some in-house training. This usually covers office systems and procedures and will get you familiar with the office layout.

Once you've settled in your employer should arrange some appropriate training to help you develop and take on more responsibility. This might include courses in:

  • Health and safety
  • Project management
  • IT courses
  • Supervision/management
  • If you're looking to make it to the top of your game you could consider, or may be asked to take a diploma or HND in subjects like finances, personnel or office management. A larger company should fund these courses for you but a smaller company's training budgets probably won't stretch that far.


You'll get lots of opportunities to take on more responsibilities, particularly in the first five years or so. From managing more people, to organising and leading more training and taking a more senior role in decision-making.

As office manager you are pretty much the head honcho of the admin world, so promotion usually involves becoming a member of the management team or head of a department. It is also quite common to combine two roles. For example taking on the role of finance or personnel manager as well as your existing office manager duties.

Annual income

There is plenty of scope for progression where your salary is concerned.

A new office manager will start on around £17,000 and in the early years can earn up to £27,000 by taking on more responsibilities.

Once you've got ten years' plus experience there is potential to earn up to £45,000, but, as always, this depends on the size and nature of the business you work for.

An individual who holds the position of office manager has a wide array of diverse duties and responsibilities which must be performed on a daily basis. The office manager has a role in many different businesses and their exact duties and responsibilities will depend on the type of business, size of the business and role which they play within the business.
There are a number of general responsibilities concomitant with the role of office manager. These will vary from business to business but many of the responsibilities include hiring and firing of employees, ordering supplies, performing payroll duties, performing accounting duties, taking phone calls and performing general everyday tasks necessary for the efficient running of the business. Most businesses have one primary office manager, however some may have two or more individuals who share the managerial duties.