They’re there to give you an encouraging grin every Monday morning, already sorting out the problems you’re about to frantically email them with, making running an office seem totally effortless - from keeping you up to your eyeballs in coffee, to organising full-blown events.
Let’s raise a glass to office managers, and all the different hats they wear…
1. Bowler hat
Office managers are shrewd business people. Negotiating contracts for everything from coffee suppliers (cough cough) to external training, they have to be able to talk money when it matters. They’re responsible for the whole office getting a great deal and an even better service, when it comes to everything from trains to conferences to IT support.
2. Baseball cap
Like a sports coach, office managers often have to be organiser and cheerleader all rolled into one. Sorting out schedules, seating plans, meeting rooms, transport… and keeping everyone motivated and eager to work at the same time! Greeting staff and guests with a smile (even on a dreary weekday afternoon…), it’s a tireless part of the job.
3. Party hat
It’s not all fun and games, but it is sometimes! Office managers are often the ones with the power, when it comes to summer and winter parties. They know how to listen to the people (and inject just the right level of mandatory team-building to keep the higher ups happy, before the real party begins!). Adding ‘event planner’ to their list of tasks, they make it look easy.
Office managers need to be detectives. They don’t just wait for something to go wrong - they anticipate it, work out the reasons why, and fix it… often before anyone even notices! And the list of things that can go wrong is limitless - leaking roof, pigeon trapped in the office, meeting room clashes to name just a few. But they’ve got it covered.
5. Barrister’s Wig
Okay. It’s not a hat as such, but this is a good one. In this role, you need to be judge and jury - making executive decisions when the actual executives are at odds, or too busy, to do it themselves. Whether it’s reordering coffee because supplies are running dangerously low due to unexpected visitors, or pre-screening job candidates. They are one of the biggest decision makers in the company… even if upper management think it’s them making the decisions!
We’re thinking more Frank Sinatra here - they need to stay cool at all times. There’s no crisis they can’t manage, nothing so unexpected that they’d be taken aback. Flustered is not in their vocabulary, just a cucumber-cool attitude 24/7.
Wearing all those hats is pretty hard work (the neck strain alone!), so why not bring a coffee to their desk for once? Or, if your office hasn’t got Pact Coffee for Business in their kitchen yet, give them a heads up and save them the trouble of finding a supplier!
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