Office administration

Office administration (shortened as Office Ad and abbreviated as OA) is a set of day-to-day activities that are related to the maintenance of an office building, financial planning, record keeping & billing, personal, physical distribution and logistics, within an organization. An employee that undertakes these activities is commonly called an office administrator or office manager, and plays a key role in any organizations infrastructure, regardless of the scale. Many administrative positions require the candidate to have an advanced skill set in the software applications Microsoft Word, Excel and Access.[1]

Office AdministratorEdit

An office administrator has the responsibility of ensuring that the administrative activities within an organization run efficiently, by providing structure to other employees throughout the organization. These activities can range from being responsible for the management of human resources, budgets and records, to undertaking the role of supervising other employees. These responsibilities can vary depending on the employer and level of education.[2]

Team of office administrators and managers undertaking administrative tasks

Skill SetEdit

The importance of an office administrator to an organization is substantial due to the duties that they are entrusted with, therefore specialized training is required in order for the employee to work efficiently and productively, these being;

  • Payroll training that involves the responsibility in ensuring that all employees receive their pay slips on time.
  • To have good communication skills in order to coordinate with other employees around the organization.
  • The ability of being able to supervise support workers
  • The ability of adapting to changing environments and new technologies that could be implemented e.g. New software installation.
  • Show good initiative
  • To be able to work under pressure when given a task that is of vital importance to the organization.[3]


There are some an extensive range of roles that can be associated with an office administrator, these being; organizations advertise junior office administrator vacancies targeted at students that are currently studying or who have left secondary school or college, the opportunity to gain experience or build a career through full-time work or an internship over the course of a summer break.

Receptionists play a key role in the organizations management, as they are entrusted with arranging and greeting the clients, suppliers and visitors directly via emails, phone calls or direct mail. The employee undertaking the role of a receptionist must show good organisational, communication and customer service skills in order to ensure efficiency with the organisation.[4] The receptionist should be aware from those scammers who try to obtain the inner information of your office/ medical practice to abuse or exploit it.[5] Other responsibilities that a receptionist is entrusted with are;

  • Ensure that the outgoing and incoming mail is allocated to the right department within the organisation
  • Organise and assist fellow employees with meetings, conferences and direct telephone calls when required
  • To communicate with members of the public when an inquiry is made
  • Manage and maintain the filing system that has been implemented into the organisation e.g. information systems
  • Clerical duties that involve the ordering of equipment, office supplies and other inventories that are required [6]

Personal Assistants are commonly associated with an office manager that help maintain the efficiency of their day-to-day work, this is through providing secretarial support and assistance. Becoming a personal assistant requires the employee to have experience in previous administrative jobs, in which entailed the use of computers and information systems. Like any other role that is related to an office administrator, the job title of personal assistant requires the employee to be organized, show professionalism and the ability to work under pressure when given a task of vital importance.[7] The duties that a personal assistant must carry out each day are the following;

  • The task of inputting, filing and managing the data that is stored within the organization's office system
  • Personal assistants act as a first hand to the office manager so they must ensure that all contacts from third party individuals are processed through them
  • To arrange transportation and meetings that are of importance to the office manager
  • Ensure that documents, reports ad presentations are set up prior to any meetings
  • Process emails and letters that are received in correspondent to the office manager

Office ManagerEdit

Office Manager supervising and teaching their fellow employees

An office manager has the responsibility of ensuring that an organization's office duties are completed efficiently and effectively, while also supervising other staff members. The role of an office manager is more demanding than other administrative positions, including such skills and qualifications as strong administrative experience, competency in human resources, reporting skills, delegation, management processes and the ability to communicate with other members of the organization.[8][9]


The duties of an office manager include:[10]

  • Organize the office's operations and procedures by undertaking several administrative tasks, for example designing and implementing new filing systems
  • Assigning tasks to employees and following up on their progress
  • Recruiting, selecting and training new employees
  • Developing employees through coaching and counseling
  • Producing annual budgets
  • Professional development, for example by attending external training sessions


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-18. Retrieved 2015-10-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "A Brief History of Office Administration". National Academy of Health and Business | College Training in Ontario. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  4. ^ "Opportunities in office administration". CareerFAQs. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  5. ^ "How to Teach Your Practice's Administration Staff". Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  6. ^ "Job description - receptionist" (PDF). Job Description. 2015-05-30.
  7. ^ Agency, Skills Funding. "Personal assistant job information | National Careers Service". Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  8. ^ "Office Manager Job Description Sample |". Monster Hiring Resource Center. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  9. ^ "Opportunities in office administration". CareerFAQs. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  10. ^ "Office Manager Job Description Sample |". Monster Hiring Resource Center. Retrieved 2015-11-03.