Office administration involves attending to the activities necessary for a workplace to function well. By taking care of the particulars associated with running an office, admins provide critical support for staff members. So who’s there to organize the office organizer? We provide thousands of articles to help admins and office management staff through better meeting management, improved time management and much mor
Why does office administration matter?
A smoothly operating workplace contributes to productivity and morale. Office administrators tackle issues large and small to keep everything flowing. Their job touches virtually every aspect of a business, which makes them an important go-to source of general knowledge. And because they interact with so many people—from vendors and customers to new workers and seasoned managers—their actions and attitude play a vital role in the overall tone and culture of the organization.
What are some common tasks asked of office administrators?
Responsibilities differ considerably by workplace and role, with office administrators at small businesses especially taking on a range of duties due to fewer support staff. Typical domains of concern include:
- Human resources (i.e., employee paperwork, payroll, taxes, compliance, onboarding new hires)
- Financial (reimbursements, payments to vendors, billing, departmental record-keeping, budgets)
- Logistical (making appointments, coordinating schedules, ordering supplies, booking travel arrangements, organizing company events)
- Clerical (sending and distributing mail, typing, data entry, filing, answering phones and emails)
- Managerial (overseeing special projects, delegating work to assistants)
What important skills must an office administrator develop?
Office administrators are multitasking Jacks and Jills of all trades possessing excellent time-management skills in order to get everything done. Because of their involvement in so many aspects of office operations, they must be detail-oriented, organized and capable of prioritizing among tasks. Their ability to communicate effectively ensures everyone on staff receives clear information in a timely manner and understands office policies and procedures. Often privy to confidential and sensitive info, including salaries and employee social security numbers, discretion is a must.
Why might someone with solid interpersonal skills thrive as an office administrator?
The role involves regular interaction with a range of different people. Being able to listen to their concerns and respond accordingly benefits the organization. Office administrators often serve as intermediaries between departments or staff members involved in workplace conflict. Soothing relationships contribute to a better atmosphere and more work getting accomplished. The nature of the position sometimes even leads to acting as an impromptu “therapist” for employees looking for a compassionate, knowledgeable sounding board.
What job titles are common among employees involved in office administration?
Office administration is a broad job classification. Roles within a company might include:
- office manager
- administrative assistant
- office assistant
- human resources assistant
- data entry operator
- facilities manager
- front desk coordinator
Some positions include the word “executive” in the title, such as an executive secretary. People in these roles tend to focus less on clerical matters and more on offering direct support to high-ranking managers.
What educational background does an office administrator usually possess?
While a high school diploma remains sufficient for some entry-level positions, the complexities of the modern workplace make post-secondary education preferable. Diploma and associate degree programs in office management offered by community colleges generally include coursework in accounting, marketing, people skills, communication, records management and computers. Graduates of four-year colleges hold an edge for advanced administrative positions requiring leadership abilities. Because technology plays such a large role in most offices, employers value training such as a Microsoft Office specialist certificate.