Effective office management skills

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By Emma Richards

There is a need for people with strong administrative skills in any business. With business processes, equipment, documentation and communication becoming increasingly complicated, managers and professional administrators need a wide range of skills to run the office effectively. Often these skills are neglected or ignored, which results in ineffective office management. If you are unsure of the proficiencies you need to keep up with administrative tasks, here are 4 important skills required for efficient office management.

1. Business documentation

As an office manager, you will mostly likely need business writing skills, as you will be required to write up a number of business documents. Some documents may include business letters, reports, proposals, quotations, statements and invoices. It is imperative to understand what these documents are used for, and to know how to format, write and administer these documents.

2. Communication strategy

In the current business environment,communication is handled almost exclusively through computers. It is important for office administrators to feel comfortable communicating through various platforms, such as email, Skype or MSN, as it is mostly likely that you will communicate with employees or customersvia these platforms. You will need to learn to communicate appropriately depending on the platform used. Office managers are also required to communicate with employees and customers on the phone, so an appropriate telephone manner is essential.

3. Office administration

General office administration is part-and-parcel of the day-to-day running of any business.As an office manager, you may be responsible for petty cash, managing the switchboard, dealing with delivery services, the administration of basic office facilities,and general management. The latter is vital, as staff rely heavily on office management in order to complete their tasks successfully.

4. Information management

It is the information age, and humans are consuming more raw data today than in any other time in history.Information needs to be housed somewhere, and it is often kept in files so that you can make reference to specific documents at a later stage. As an office manager, it is important to manage the filing and indexing for both digital and hard copy documents. Arrange your digital folders effectively so that you are able to find certain documents with ease. Hard copies should be filed away and clearly marked so you can retrieve these documents at any time.

To learn more about office management consider the University of Cape Town Professional Communication and Management course, which starts on 16 April 2012. Please contact Tamsin on 021 447 7565 or email tamsin@getsmarter.co.za for more information. Alternatively visit GetSmarter

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