An office manager is the unsung hero of most small and medium businesses, laboring invisibly behind the scenes to make sure everything gets done, and done well.
While AI is disrupting jobs and automating back office tasks, the office manager has a critical role to play in the future of work. In fact, AI will free office managers up to do more high-level tasks, like budgeting, strategic planning, and supporting customer experience initiatives.
Administrative work -- like paying bills, scheduling meetings, routing calls, taking messages, and ordering supplies -- are the kinds of necessary but routine tasks that can and will be handled by automation. A human will supervise these efforts, but the bulk of the work will be done by algorithms that will shop for the best prices, keep an eye on inventories, and—hopefully—never schedule anyone for two meetings at the same time.
Office managers will serve a more business critical role, bridging the gap between human and machine decision-making. They will often act with executive authority, for example negotiating the best price once an algorithm presents the options, and serving a vital public-facing role when a human touch is needed. Analytical skills and critical thinking will become even more important than organizational skills.
At the same time that administration is becoming increasingly specialized, office managers are finding themselves tasked with a widening sphere of responsibilities. From talent sourcing, IT implementation, budgeting, payroll and communications, they have many fingers in many pies.
How can you enable your office manager to get more done, and to really shine in their true role as the ultimate optimizer of all things office related?
Upgrade their title
Titles cue people in about how much authority an individual is trusted with, and can help set up your office manager up in a powerful place for better negotiating with contractors, clients and potential employees. If your office manager is taking on more responsibility, an elevated title can help them succeed. Alternate titles for "office manager" include VP of Operations, Service Director, the CEO's Personal Assistant, or Logistics Coordinator.
Upgrade their pay
When companies act too slowly in adjusting salaries, they often end up paying for it when trying to attract new talent to fill an office manager role. The cost of churn includes productivity loss and training costs during the ramp up time required for onboarding a new employee. Take care of your office manager, and make them think twice before jumping ship.
Upgrade their skills
One of the biggest draws for employees, particularly millennials, is the opportunity to grow and learn. Training and development delivers a double boon to businesses, first by expanding the skill set of your employees, and secondly by fostering a culture of engagement and satisfaction.
Encourage and enable your office manager to regularly learn new skills and find out from them what new software, skills, or training they need to succeed.
Upgrade their technology
Is your office manager using antiquated accounting software or babysitting legacy technology like an outdated office phone system? Simplifying, integrating, and updating technology can ensure that your office manager can spend more time performing meaningful tasks. Technology that’s simple and delightful to use will empower more productive workers and more sastisfied customers.
Does your office phone system make life easier for your office manager?
Or do they waste their time tracking down people in the field, searching for numbers, and trying to manage an office phone system built on 20th century technology? Even small offices can capitalize on smart technology and AI to communicate and work more efficiently. The Spoke app can turn even a single business line into a full featured business phone system. You don’t even need to add a line. Just port your number over to Spoke and deploy it across your mobile network. You can add as many mobile phones as you need, and you’ll only pay for active users. From your mobile phone, you can:
- Transfer calls mobile-to-mobile
- Assign extensions and group calling
- Instantly capture call data and phone numbers
- Stay professional with AI smart routing and an automated receptionist
- Access a shared call log across multiple devices
- Consolidate all phones under a single number
- Mask your personal number when dialing out
- Manage the application directly from your smartphone
At Spoke Phone, we believe that technology should make life easier. Give your business phone line (and your office manager) and upgrade and see how much more you can do.