Few jobs require you to wear as many hats as being an office manager. In many cases, in addition to being the central hub of communication for your company and keeping the office running smoothly, you’re often expected to be an executive assistant, project manager, marketing lead, recruiter, and front-line IT troubleshooter. Being organized, responsive, and connected is the only way to stay on top of a heavy workload with constantly changing priorities. How do you manage it all?
Today’s mobile tools can help you get everything done without getting overwhelmed – especially in fast-growing mid-size companies where you have to balance smooth operations and growth challenges. Here’s a closer look at five mobile tools that will help you stay productive, whether you’re solving issues on your smartphone between meetings or responding to a work emergency over the weekend.
If you’re a typical office manager, you’re living and dying by your to-do lists. Whether it’s facilities projects you’re keeping track of, company announcements that need to be made, or special projects for the company’s managers, your job is all about keeping multiple balls in the air at the same time. List-making apps are a great way to manage the modern to-do list. For the best results, choose an app that is platform independent and that can be accessed from any device. Ideally, you want a list management tool that can be updated no matter where you are to give you maximum flexibility. Consider choosing a list-making app with additional organizational features that let you create multiple lists, share them with colleagues, and create reports that let you see how you’re doing.
When you incorporate them into your workflow the right way, list-making apps can help make sure you don’t lose track of small details. Use feature alerts to remind yourself when deadlines are approaching or that you need to check in with a colleague about the progress of a project, for example. Some popular apps people use for keeping track of to-dos, ideas, and projects include Wunderlist, Google Keep, and Evernote.
Secure Online Backup
As an office manager, you may find yourself becoming the de facto knowledge-management person in the office. From knowing where the latest version of a key document is or creating a knowledge base where your colleagues can access important documents, many information tracking tasks fall to you. One tool which can make that easier is secure online backup.
Secure online backup helps ensure that whatever file management system you develop is automatically backed up to the cloud. If your computer crashes or your system goes down, you’ll continue to be able to support your colleagues by making sure they have access to the information they need. When choosing online backup, it’s helpful to look for solutions that provide automated backups at regular intervals, adequate security, and easy data restoration. Finally, look for additional features that can increase your convenience. For example, if you find yourself needing access to a file and you’re without your device, you can log in remotely using your access credentials from any computer with an Internet connection.
If you work in a regulated industry with strict data compliance laws, like Healthcare or Finance, it’s important to partner with a backup data provider which has the compliance credentials that are needed to protect your business from legal action and fines. Additionally, the company needs to provide a secure connection from your computers and servers to the data backed up in the cloud. Data can still be compromised as it travels from your device to the cloud backup service, and this added level of protection and backup performance will help ensure you have the best data security plans in place.
Apps That Solve Logistics Challenges
Every veteran office manager has been waylaid by a request to cater a lunch at the last minute, courier a package across town, or find a busy executive a ride to the airport. Often, these requests occur in the middle of hectic meetings and require you to stop what you’re doing long enough to find a provider, place the order, and verify it’s going to solve the issue. Today, thanks to a variety of apps, you can discretely solve a number of real-life problems that occur, such as:
- Last minute catering needs with apps such as Foodler and ZeroCater
- Ridesharing solutions such as Uber and Lyft
- Courier services and other in-person tasks with companies like TaskRabbit
Microsoft® Office 365
As an office manager, your workload probably includes updating spreadsheets, proofreading Word documents, or prepping presentations for meetings. What happens when you need to update the company’s conference room reservation spreadsheet on the move or help your boss prepare for a critical client meeting when you’re out of the office? Choosing a cloud-based solution like Microsoft® Office 365 lets you access Word, PowerPoint, and Excel from any device. By using cloud-based productivity tools, you’re adding more flexibility to your workflow – especially if your job requires you to be mobile.
Office 365 can help you solve key challenges that come with collaborating with colleagues in other offices and time zones. It’s possible to video conference using Skype for Business, instant message, share calendars, and email from any device. Better collaboration tools help you be responsive, from answering a question over IM to easily checking people’s schedules when you’re booking a meeting. Tasks that used to require talking to multiple people or having access to your laptop can be done in seconds with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet.
Managed Services Solutions
Handling the minutia of office communications can take up a lot of time. You’re often faced with key questions like: Are your team members unable to access critical apps? Are you constantly adding new hires to the phone system or having to update your company’s website or intranet? The process of managing multiple vendors, keeping track of usernames and passwords, and just generally administering the systems you need to be an effective administrator can be exhausting. One option is to consider a managed services solution suite that combines different features into one dashboard – often a mobile-friendly app.
Ultimately, few people are as busy as office managers. In a typical day, you’re interfacing with facilities, working on a marketing project, supporting key executives, booking travel, and making sure the kitchen is stocked with coffee and snacks. Mobile devices and a few strategically chosen apps can help you get more done in a fast, efficient, and low-stress way!