5 Key Principles of Office Management

Kayla Naab

Office environments come in many shapes, sizes and functionalities. However, one thread that connects all highly productive offices is prolific management. When it’s done right, management maintains harmony and efficiency within a workspace. When it’s done poorly, management can be the downfall of an organization and a burden on its employees.

At Eden, we know a thing or two about effective office management. From organization, process structure, employee management and cleanliness, we’ve put together a list of key principles that are at the core of sound office management.

Office management principles

Great management can strike the perfect balance of setting the right precedence to inform and motivate their teams while also establishing processes and clarity to be hands-off, rather than micro-manage. This affords leadership the ability to operate efficiently and effectively with a bird’s eye view to ensure every aspect of their organization is steadily improving.

Great businesses manage their operations through these core principles:

1. Planning & vision

Having leaders that are consistently evaluating processes, organizing information, delegating tasks and predicting pitfalls is entirely necessary for businesses that want to stay competitive within their market and find new ways to delight their consumers.

2. Maintenance of order

Office management is a constant juggling act of planning, execution, review and staff management. A great manager needs to be able to keep every aspect of his or her role afloat simultaneously through prioritization and effective time management. This ensures clarity, balance, structure, consistency and productivity throughout the entire organization.

3. Communication

Both words and context matter. In order to maintain the respect of both employees and customers, you not only need to speak with conviction and authority, but finesse. The wrong word or tone can irreversibly change a person’s perception of you or your company. Great communication skills can help de-escalate times of conflict or motivate employees through times that are good, bad or neutral.

4. Drive

The energy and intention of a leader is palpable for everybody on the team. When an owner, senior executive or manager are the first ones in and the last ones to leave, when they are the first people to step up and offer a solution to problems, it sets a strong, positive and motivating precedence that ripples throughout the organization.

5. Direction & control

This often is perceived as bossiness, however, giving direction and taking charge of various situations is critical for maintaining productivity and harmony within an office. Clear direction provides employees with clarity. Control is pivotal not just for ensuring productivity but more importantly for managing small and large crises. Inaction can allow small mishaps to become major issues. Exceptional managers are the first to step up when the time comes.

Tips for maintaining an organized workplace

One of the prime barriers to these principles is confusion and chaos. Without organization, even the smartest and hardest working teams will underperform. Maintaining organization within your company creates the clarity necessary to fulfill the broad and nuanced tasks that allow businesses to thrive.

Utilize these tactics to keep your workplace organized:

1. Process, process, process

When you have clear and precise processes laid out for all of your business functions, you empower your team to operate with focus and confidence. Processes keep workplaces organized by limiting the potential for unfinished tasks and projects to pile up and create clutter and chaos.

2. Establish a clear and comprehensive digital structure for communication

Not only will a physical paper trail clutter up your workspaces quickly, but it leaves your team vulnerable to misplacing valuable information. Housing your directions, notes and SOPs in a well organized and easily accessible digital platform can provide your team with clarity and confidence.

Having a digital hub can also free-up your chain of command by being a go-to reference for employees. This avoids unnecessary questions or idol time. Utilizing a combination of dedicated Slack channels, G Suite and a project management software can help you keep your communication and information organized and clearly structured for ease of use.

3. Commit to cleaning up before you leave

This sounds idyllic and simple, but sometimes establishing stedfast rules is the most effective way to operate. Committing to cleanliness not only helps with physical clutter but it also establishes a mindset of organization that permeates the entire workplace.

4. Create dedicated and hyper-functional work zones

In addition to the operational processes you establish to promote workplace productivity and organization, your team will still need logistical support to perform their daily tasks. Creating specific, functional work zones within your office space that are specially designed for certain tasks can foster efficiency and prevent various tasks from spilling into other areas.

Applying these principles in your workplace

The first step to applying these principles in your workplace is to make sure they are acknowledged and agreed upon by the leaders in your company. Following these principles is a collaborative effort, and it’s important that managers lead by example.

As your organization grows, it will be equally important to revisit these principles with new managers and team members. Defining and applying the combination of principles, processes, people and places that maximize productivity, efficiency and clarity in your workplace is an ongoing process.

Looking for a way to manage your workplace more efficiently? Check out what Eden’s Workplace Management Platform can do for your office.

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