It’s a new year and a new opportunity to get a handle on your office management.
Managing an entire office can be a big job, especially if you have to oversee a lot of moving pieces. From supervising employees to securing inventory to controlling the flow of visitors in and out of your office building, you have a never-ending list of responsibilities. Fortunately, technology can help to streamline your task load so that you’re more efficient and capable.
In this post, we’re rounding up all of the top office management tools you’ll need for your office.
Every organization has a set of goals it needs to accomplish. As office manager, you have likely been tasked with planning and organizing a set of projects that impact the future of your organization. No pressure. Depending on the scope of the project, managing a project can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you assign tasks? How do you ensure that those tasks are on track?
Fortunately, technology can empower you to do more without cloning yourself.
A project management tool gives you the ability to organize your project and manage the tasks and necessary resources to achieve your goals. With the right project management tool, you can control your cost and ensure that you’re not delayed from meeting your goals.
While there are countless types of tools on the market, here are the basic things you should look for in project management software:
- Cloud-based – The best project management software is cloud-based, in other words, it’s accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. This gives you and your team the ability to sign in, even if you’re not all in the office on the same network.
- Easy to use – Let’s face it. If your project management tool isn’t intuitive and easy to understand, you won’t use it. Try before buying to ensure that you understand how to use this system and that it makes sense to you. It should also naturally fit into your daily workflow. Also, if your team will also use the same tool, get their feedback, too. It’s important that everyone feels comfortable using your project management tool.
Time Management and Productivity
Setting goals for your organization is one thing, but managing your team’s time is a different ball game. When you don’t effectively manage your time and your team’s time, you’ll increase stress and reduce motivation. The best way to strike a work-life balance is to effectively manage your projects and your ongoing processes. This will also boost employee morale.
When it comes to managing time effectively, you must consider the following factors:
- Your goals – What are you trying to achieve, how will you do it, and how long will it take to do it?
- Your resources – What resources do you need to accomplish these goals and do you already have those resources? If not, how long will it take for you to acquire the necessary resources to do the job?
- Your deadline – Do you have a hard deadline for meeting your goals?
Managing an entire team, as opposed to managing only you, is a lot more difficult. You have to first consider your resources and assign tasks based on skill, current workload, and the potential for that team member to complete the task efficiently. But then, you also need to ensure that you give them a reasonable time frame to accomplish their individual set of tasks.
From a more global perspective, you’ll need to manage all of the responsibilities of the team, ensuring that everyone is on track and no one is experiencing delays that can derail the entire timeline of your project or process.
For these reasons, you need technology that can do the following:
- Set deadlines and goalposts – Your team needs to have a constant reminder of when the project, or certain milestones in the project, will be due.
- Allow team members to block distracting apps or websites while working – This feature gives your team members the opportunity to hyper-focus on present tasks
- Automate repetitive tasks – Doing the same thing over and over again is inefficient. A good time management tool will also give your team the ability to automate tasks that don’t need to be performed manually.
Long gone are the days when documents are stored on local devices and accessible by the individual owner. When you’re working in a collaborative environment with a team of others, you need the ability to create and edit together.
Fortunately, there are plenty of web-based tools available that allow you to create and format documents directly in your web browser, without the need to download software locally. This makes it easier to communicate in real-time even if your team works remotely. From the word processor Google Docs to the graphics-based prototyping tool Figma, whatever your team’s need, there’s likely a cloud-based collaborative tool at your disposal.
Here’s what to look for in a document management tool:
- Automatic file saving – Files that don’t save automatically will threaten your sanity.
- The ability for a team of people to work on a file at the same time – If you’re working with a team on the same document, they should have one central file to work from. This reduces redundancy and increases efficiency.
- File storage – Your document management tool should allow you to store files in the cloud and also give you the option to download saved files to local devices.
Whether your team works in one office or is distributed around the globe, one thing’s certain: You need a reliable way to communicate with each other. And reliable doesn’t look like it did back in the 80s. These days, you can communicate with each other just as effectively using a video conferencing app as you would in person. And for quick updates, a video call may be overkill.
Fortunately, there are so many technology tools in the communication market to consider that will make it easier to connect with your team.
When you’re looking for a communication tool for your office, here are a few factors to consider:
- File sharing – If you need to quickly consult on a file that you’re working on, why should you switch out of your communication to do so? Look for a tool that gives you the option to send files to others
- Chat – Not everyone wants to communicate through video or audio calls, especially if it’s an ongoing conversation. In this case, you need a tool that allows you to chat asynchronously with each other. This also allows you to leave messages or open threads to reduce message confusion.
- Easy adoption – Unless you can ensure that everyone on your team is using the exact same piece of hardware with the exact same software and updates (which is very unlikely), you’ll need a communication tool that can work with a wide variety of devices and systems. This way, whether they’re on Android or iOS (or both!), your team members can still access your preferred communication tool.
If your office is open to the public, you need a system in place for managing incoming and outgoing visitors. You may or may not have a human receptionist, but you can’t rely on just that one person to handle all the people who come through your office on a regular basis. This includes clients, vendors, delivery people, job applicants, service personnel, and more. It’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone in your building, and that task can be overwhelming when placed on just one person’s shoulders.Why do you need a visitor management tool? Click To Tweet
This is why you need The Receptionist for iPad. This visitor management tool acts as a digital front desk assistant. It can work alongside a human receptionist or on its own as a digital kiosk that greets your visitors and provides directions on what they should do next.
Using a visitor management tool will allow you to control access to your office. This is one of the most important tasks for any office manager.
With The Receptionist for iPad, you can do the following:
- Greet visitors when they walk into your office – No need to wait for a receptionist to say “hello” to your visitor. Your digital receptionist can do that for you. This immediately strikes a great impression.
- Know who’s in your office at all times – The Receptionist keeps a secure, cloud-based visitor log of everyone who’s currently in your office. This way, you’re always aware of who’s waiting and who may be roaming through your halls.
- Communicate with visitors – When a visitor arrives for a pre-scheduled meeting, your employees can quickly send a note to your visitor through The Receptionist system. This allows you to communicate wait times efficiently with your visitors.
Would you like to learn more about The Receptionist? We’re offering a free, 14-day trial of The Receptionist that you can sign up for here.
Don’t try to manage your office without technology. Technology gives you the ability to improve communication, reduce organizational costs, and make better use of your time. Empower yourself by adding the above office management tools to your tool belt. Here’s to a productive and efficient 2022!
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