As office manager of a small- to mid-size business, your list of responsibilities is always growing. From managing the day-to-day activities of your admin staff, handling customer service issues, coordinating with vendors, tracking projects and keeping initiatives on time and on budget, to say you wear multiple hats is an understatement. However, while handling this many moving parts is overwhelming at times, technology can make life a little easier.
To help you become more efficient, and enjoy a little free time once in awhile, we’ve put together a list of the top technology timesaving suggestions for busy office managers:
Get on The Cloud
Cloud computing supports a busy office manager in several ways. First, the cloud plays host to all applications and files in one easy-to-access, easy-to-use secure portal. This enables office managers (and their staff members) the freedom to work from any location at any time.
Second, cloud-based applications enhance an office manager’s ability to monitor and manage what their employees are doing. With heightened transparency between management and staff, you’ll be able to reduce response or approval times and increase efficiency.
Finally, in the event of a disaster, office managers can breath a little easier knowing the data necessary to keep their company or department running is safe and secure in an off-site location. As long as they have access to an internet connection, your staff can continue business as usual.
Implement Project Management Software
Project management software helps busy office managers get organized and bolster collaboration without adding more responsibility to their day. In fact, project management software will simplify daily responsibilities. The software enables office managers to delegate duties to specific employees, assign due dates, monitor progress, capture snapshot overviews for training or meeting purposes and communicate with clients and vendors.
Create Inbox Folders
Office managers know organization is the key to success, but one place you may forget to tidy is your email inbox. As the person in charge of so many moving parts, you receive dozens of emails every day. When emails begin piling up, some tasks may slip through the cracks. Without a system for organizing these correspondences, you risk losing information and wasting precious time trying to find it.
Create inbox folders in which you can file emails away as they come. These folders can represent projects, months, employees or whatever filing system makes the most sense to you. Once you’ve set it up, you can enjoy a clean and easy-to-navigate inbox.
Paper filing can be a time vampire. But, when a document you need get’s misfiled or damaged, it can cause more problems than missed time. The best way to keep all documents safe and properly filed is to make the move toward a paperless office. Consider digitizing all files and documents by utilizing cloud storage. This way, you’ll have access to the information you need at all times, whether you’re in the office or not. If you can’t find a file, tracking it down is as easy as a quick keyword search.
Make Use of a Vendor Management Service
As your company’s office manager, you aren’t simply orchestrating the activity between employees and customers, you’re also juggling vendors and keeping track of license expiration dates and hardware warranties to ensure service isn’t interrupted. One slip up and you could jeopardize the stability of your business’s network. That’s a lot of pressure!
To relieve some of this burden, consider hiring a managed services provider to manage vendors for you. Not only will a provider track and manage software and hardware contracts to ensure warranties and licenses are up to date, but it can also provide numerous other support services to make your job a little easier, including cloud computing, email security and virus protection, network monitoring, data backup, VoIP and much more.
The bottom line is your job is challenging, but adopting the right technology applications can help you streamline your department and enjoy a little breathing room. Who knows? You may even have time to take a full lunch hour!