It’s getting to that time of year again when things start getting a little out of control.It started with the getting-back-to-school ads on the radio and then before we even had time to mourn the end of summer there were more Christmas trees quicker than you could shake a tinsel-covered stick appearing in department stores around the country.
If you’re an office manager then you recognise the dread. Yup, that feeling of impending doom with Christmas just a few months around the corner which, for you, translates to staying on top of invoicing before end of year, organising the Christmas party, and managing a multitude of portfolios including recruitment, rosters, branding, customer relations, team building and looking after travel for C-level executives.
Here are the top three tips to keep on top of things in the run up to busy season:
- Identify and implement clearly delineated responsibilities
The old adage runs true: people who are accountable are people who get things done. If you are the jack-of-all-trades in your office then you have enough on your plate dealing with accounts and invoices, multiple bosses and sometimes demanding colleagues, without having to take on the task of dealing with visitors, scheduled or drop ins, coming by the office. So why not try a cloud-based app to assist with the simple administrative tasks like checking in guests and visitors to the office. You’ll probably have more than one type of visitor on any given day, particularly in the run up to the festive season; some who are coming to the office for the first time in which case you’ll need all of their details and waivers signed, and others who are regulars will need name badges printed.
Receptionist is a cloud-based app that provides a customised check-in process for office visitors. It is mostly used on an iPad or other tablet and once it checks in the guest, it automatically notifies the person the visitor is there to see by either text or email. The app gives each employee the choice of what channel they’d like to be notified on (and the employee can send a message back to the visitor if they are running late for example), leaving you more time to carry on with the other tasks you’re working on.
- No more, ‘I thought so and so was responsible for that’ - Time for team accountability
Most people will admit that without an office manager, companies would fall apart. They are the organisational wizards of the working world. But what happens when you are the one going on the business trip or assisting the CEO – as many office managers double as PA’s to CEO’s, it’s time to get organisational skills up to the next level so the office doesn’t fall to pieces if you’re not there at the helm. Meet Basecamp – an office management app that helps office managers ensure the workplace is ticking along smoothly while they are out for a few days. Everything is shared with staff and to do lists can be created and tasks assigned to specific workers to ensure maximum productivity while you’re away and files and work plans can be stored and shared online. The app also tracks the progress of various individuals such as CFO’s, business managers, programmers, and office staff so you don’t have to stress about not being on the ground in the office.
- Stop wasting hours online looking for travel deals
We all know office managers also moonlight as travel agents for top executives, arranging travel and accommodation at any time of the day, night or weekend for business executives. One of the biggest thorns in the side of office managers is the time spent trawling the internet looking for the best deals on hotels in the best locations around the world. Roomex is specifically designed to save you time. The site incorporates google maps so you can pinpoint the nearest hotel within metres of your business meeting and price checks every single booking, comparing the rate you paid on Roomex to the hotel’s own rate so straight away you can see exactly how much is being saved on each booking. Roomex is also aware that you might have your own negotiated rate so it makes sure to check on its database of 650,000 hotels worldwide (including major players such as Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com) for live benchmarking against the strength of any negotiated rates. You won’t waste time negotiating different rates with hotels, Roomex does the work for you. And you’ll see straight away what you might have paid and what you’ve saved – an average saving of 21% on hotel bookings. One less headache off your list. Oh, and it can all be done in just one minute (no really)!