Office Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Office Manager,or Business Manager,is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of an office and its various departments. Their duties include communicating with department heads, relaying important information or policy changes from upper management and implementing incentives to enhance employee productivity.

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Office Manager duties and responsibilities

Office Managers may be the first point of contact for internal and external parties for your office, which may impact some customer service and communication elements of their job duties. Duties and responsibilities will vary depending on an organization’s size, but might include:

  • Overseeing the work of all office employees to ensure they work productively and meet deadlines and company standards 
  • Counseling any employees struggling in their roles
  • Answering telephone calls and emails from customers and clients and directing them to relevant staff
  • Creating an office budget and ensuring all employees follow it
  • Monitoring office supplies and ordering new stationery, furniture, appliances and electronics as required
  • Interviewing and training new office employees and organizing their employment paperwork
  • Organizing maintenance companies to keep the office clean and safe and ensure its appliances are in good working order
  • Reporting office progress to senior management and working with them to improve office operations and procedures

What does an Office Manager do?

Office Managers typically work for corporations to lead multiple departments at a branch location. They work closely with upper management to discuss their branch’s needs and receive instructions on how to guide their employees in accordance with company policies properly. Their job is to oversee the hiring and training of office employees. They also need to host office meetings and conduct performance reviews for all employees. They may also be responsible for overseeing layoffs and budget cuts across departments to maintain their company’s financial health.

Office Manager skills and qualifications

Office Managers usually need the following skills and qualifications:

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills to produce reports, assign tasks, accept instructions and handle vendor contracts, among other tasks
  • Organization and the ability to multitask to complete a wide variety of tasks
  • Flexibility to help them adjust to new tasks should company or office needs change
  • Strong interpersonal skills to interact positively with all employees
  • Leadership ability to manage challenges and oversee employees
  • Attention to detail to ensure tasks are completed thoroughly and correctly

Office Manager salary expectations

An Office Manager makes an average salary of $50,091 per year. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Office Manager education and training requirements

Office Managers need at least a high school diploma or GED. Your organization may prefer Office Managers with an associate or bachelor’s degree, such as in business administration, which provides general business education. If your business is in a specialized industry, you may need someone with an industry-specific qualification, such as a degree in healthcare administration or public administration. You might also prefer Certified Office Managers accredited by the National Office Managers Association of America.

Office Manager experience requirements

As Office Managers are responsible for the way offices operate, they should have experience working in an office environment, typically as an administrative or office assistant. Most office professionals work in these entry-level roles, such as receptionist or office assistant, for three to five years before transitioning to a more senior position like Office Manager.

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Frequently asked questions about Office Managers

What is the difference between an Office Manager and a Director of Operations?

The difference between an Office Manager and a Director of Operations is seniority and the scope of their job responsibilities. For example, the Office Manager oversees the daily operations of a branch location to ensure employees maintain their productivity. They communicate with upper management to determine necessary changes to day-to-day operations.

In contrast, the Director of Operations works at the corporate level, and therefore holds more seniority than Office Managers. They coordinate with other corporate officials like the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to oversee operations of the entire company, including all of its branch locations.

What are the daily duties of an Office Manager?

On a typical day, an Office Manager starts by checking their email or voicemail to respond to time-sensitive messages from upper management, business partners, employees or clients. They review their schedule to remind themselves of upcoming meetings or deadlines and greet Office Workers as they arrive. Throughout the day, they hold meetings with all employees to discuss new policies and address HR topics. They also meet with department heads to review budgeting needs and department projects.

During downtime in their office, Office Managers review their branch’s financial statements, investigate employee complaints and review applications for open positions at their branch.

What qualities make a good Office Manager?

A good Office Manager is someone with a natural ability to lead, which enables them to oversee the successful operations of an office and its employees. They have excellent written and verbal communication, allowing them to write effective emails or memos and speak in meetings with office employees or company stakeholders. They should also have excellent interpersonal communication as they need to talk with employees, upper management and company clients on a daily basis.

Further, a good Office Manager ensures a safe work environment for their employees by working closely with HR to prevent instances of workplace harassment and other situations. Office Managers also need to be able to make difficult decisions to uphold their company’s overall health. This may include overseeing budget or pay decreases or implementing layoffs or furloughs among staff members.

Who does an Office Manager report to?

An Office Manager typically reports to a member of upper management who works at the corporate level, like the Vice President of Sales or the Director of Operations. In smaller companies, they may report directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) or the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

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