Working as an office administrator can be a great job. It’s a way to get your foot in the door at a particular company. It’s typically a solid option if you’re continuing your education to get a promotion or a different job within the industry. But it’s also a great, stable career on its own.
When applying for an administrative position, though, it’s important to understand that your job description might fluctuate over time.
There are certain skills you should have ahead of time in order to be a successful office administrator. Those who can self-manage well, and those with leadership skills often excel in administrative positions. Office administrators also need to be flexible and have the ability to remain calm and organized, even if things change.
Still, it’s never fun to be caught off guard by things you might be tasked with when you weren’t expecting them. With that in mind, let’s go over some additional administrative tasks you might be in charge of that weren’t necessarily in your job description.
Organizing the Office/Breakroom
While you don’t have to have interior design skills to be an administrative assistant, you might be responsible for maintaining a professional-looking office and/or break room. Your break room should be a reflection of your overall company culture. If employees are encouraged to feel relaxed and more “at home,” breaks should be encouraged frequently and the break room should be a place they can go to feel comfortable. Making sure the other employees you work with feel comfortable, inspired, and motivated is important. You can take advantage of your organizational tasks by making sure there are healthy snacks in the breakroom or a television or couch that can provide your co-workers with a little bit of an escape from a stressful work environment.
In addition to keeping your break room organized and looking great, you could also be tasked with organizing the office, itself. That includes ordering inventory and making sure everything the office needs to run smoothly is always available. Getting rid of old products, keeping proper logs of items, and making sure everything is in its proper place can fall on your shoulders, but it will make life easier for you and your fellow employees in the long run.
About 50% of employees also think offices should have some kind of art. Artwork can also help people who come into your office to feel more calm and relaxed as they wait for appointments, etc.
While your original job description might not have included things like ordering supplies or making sure the office and breakroom looked good, these tasks can actually end up being a lot of fun, and they can allow you to utilize some creativity.
Keeping and Disposing of Records
Almost every office has some type of record-keeping procedure in place. Businesses need to stay organized, so record-keeping is one of the most important duties of an administrator.
Nowadays, record-keeping can look different depending on where you work. A file system is a great way to keep information organized, whether you’re dealing with patients, customers, or data. But it’s easy for things to get mislabeled or misplaced in traditional paper filing systems. That’s why many offices are choosing to go paperless. This allows you to scan documents, collect e-signatures, and store information in cloud-based programs that can’t lose it. Digital documents can usually be found by a quick search, rather than having to dig through mountains of paperwork.
In addition to keeping records organized, you might be asked to dispose of them properly. Maybe some data has expired, a patient doesn’t go to that office anymore, or a customer’s file is outdated.
Whatever the reason, disposing of documents safely and securely ensures there won’t be any security breaches within your company, and people’s information will remain safe. While buying a paper shredder for your office is better than just tossing files in the trash, if you really want to properly dispose of important documents, it’s best to use a paper shredding service. Not only will they shred the documents, but they will combine them with thousands of others. That makes it nearly impossible for anyone to be able to piece them back together.
Greeting Clients and Customers
Though many of your day-to-day duties as an office administrator might have you behind a desk or in front of a computer, you might also have to deal with clients and customers coming into the office regularly.
It’s important for administrators to have strong people skills. You might be the first face a potential client or customer sees, which can set the tone for how they view the business. Being able to interact with people in a professional and friendly manner is essential to doing your job well. You may even have to look up their records or information, so patience is key.
Many office administrators also have to deal with clients and customers over the phone. Your duties could include setting and/or looking up appointments, making cancellations, or looking up other personal information about whoever you might be talking to.
The bottom line? As an office administrator, you should be prepared to wear many hats and to take on new responsibilities all of the time. It can be fun for some people who like to switch things up and accept new challenges, but the more prepared you are to handle such things, the more successful you’ll be at work.