When it comes to office management, there are some standards and practices you should always adhere to, regardless of your company’s specific product chain or your service industry. These tenets will help you to have a more successful office atmosphere, and keep your company on track for success in both the financial and human areas. One may be just as important as the other, because one naturally feeds into the other. You’ve of course heard the old saying about sharing the wealth.
An office that is making money hand over fist is a happy office, most of the time, or at least it should be. Of course, this won’t necessarily be true if the employer is underpaying the workers, but as long as that is in check, everything else should flow smoothly. The following are the four basic tenets of office management that can keep an office running smoothly.
Unless you are a company of one, employment will be a factor in your yearly decision making. Therefore, it is wise to have policies and rules in place for when the situation arises. It does not make sense to sort of throw your hands in the air and hire someone in a different fashion. That creates inequality in the workplace and confusion among the employees. Not to mention, things usually work a lot better when they are standardized. Does that mean taking the human element entirely out of the equation? Absolutely not.
No company should base their hiring practices on a set of rules so stringent that an answer to interview question (A) means an outcome of (B), or a resume that state (1) should always means (2) occurs afterwards. There should absolutely be room for judgment calls and the like. However, there should be policies in place as to how that employee is trained and brought into the working environment.
One area where quite a few office environments fall behind is that of project management. Without strict guidelines and strong project leadership, employees are like a ship at sea without a compass or any sense of purpose or direction. A project that should have taken a week is turned in three months later. And whose fault is that? Is it the employees? Not really. Not if there aren’t guidelines in place about how these things should be handled. Without those guidelines, people in general are not going to work to the best of their abilities. Sure, there will be those who will rise to the occasion even without those policies, but they are relatively few and far between. It is much better to have the guidelines in place so that employees know their deadlines and have the tools necessary to meet them.
You could run a company budget dry trying to keep up with every piece of technology and office equipment on the market. On the other hand, an office could well be behind the times if the manager doesn’t spend at least some time considering what tools the office could use to maximize efficiency. It’s important to strike the right balance here. There are some great internet office supply stores that would be at home in the bookmark folder of any top executive. Take the time to peruse these stores and even sign up for email alerts about new products. That way you can take each product on a case by case basis and evaluate how it would help your company versus the money it would cost to purchase it. They will also let you do direct side by side comparisons of different brands. You may need a new multifunction copier. Do you go with Brother or Canon? These decisions can be made by carefully looking at price and feature comparisons.
This goes hand in hand with the last tenet. It is up to the office manager to decide how his employees will communicate with each other and with the outside world. With today’s technology, communication has changed in many ways. What was yesterday’s memo board is today’s email alert, what was yesterday’s meeting with a client might be today’s teleconference. Make sure you avail yourself of all the new communication options and implement the ones that make the most sense.