Office management

Office management is a profession involving the design, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of the process of work within an office or other organization, in order to sustain and improve efficiency and productivity.

Office management is thus a part of the overall administration of business and since the elements of management are forecasting and planning, organising, command, control and coordination, the office is a part of the total management function.

Office management is the technique of planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling office activities with a view to achieve business objectives and is concerned with efficient and effective performance of the office work. The success of a business depends upon the efficiency of its office. The volume of paper work in offices has increased manifold in these days due to industrialization, population explosion, government control and application of various tax and labour laws to any business enterprise. Efficiency and effectiveness which are key words in management are achieved only through proper planning and control of activities, reduction of office costs and coordination of all activities of business.

“Office management can be defined as a task of planning, coordination, motivating the efforts of others towards the specific objectives in the office.”

“Office management, as a function, is that branch of the art and science of management which is concerned with efficient performance of office work whenever and wherever that work is to be done.” — William If. Leffingwell and Edwin M. Rot.

“Office management is manipulation and control of men, methods, machine and material to achieve the best possible results-results of highest possible quality with the expenditure of least possible effect and expense, in the shortest practicable time, and in a manner acceptable to the top management.”— Harry H. Wylie.

This definition stresses the utilization of resources of business like material, methods etc. to achieve the objectives and results in a best and cheapest way and in a minimum possible time.

“Office management is the art of guiding the personnel of the office in the use of means appropriate to its environment in order to achieve its specified purpose.”— Mills and Standinhford.

According to this definition, a proper understanding of the objective purpose is necessary so that all efforts and activities are directed in its achievement Environment where office work is to be performed is provided by management after proper planning. Environment means surroundings where employees of an enterprise operate. It includes physical factors like location, layout, lighting temperature, ventilation, cleanliness etc. Various business laws, customs practices etc. must also be made known to employees.

In this definition, author has treated office management as an art of guiding and directing personal or employees in the organization in the use of various means such as machines equipment, office forms, manual, methods etc. The definition stresses the development of persons in the office and not direction of things. Office management must understand the behaviour and needs of his employee so as to motivate him to work by influencing him and by providing incentives so that objective of the organization is achieved.

In simple words, office management can be defined as “a distinct process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating and controlling office in order to facilitate achievement of objectives of any business enterprise’ the definition shows managerial functions of an administrative manager. Following diagram indicates various elements or functions in the process of office management.


An office manager is responsible for monitoring and reviewing systems, usually focusing on specific outcomes such as improved timescales, turnover, output, sales, etc. They may supervise or manage a team of administrators, allocating roles, recruiting and training, and issuing assignments and projects. As such the role is varied, often including responsibilities across a diverse range of functions such as:

Personal competencies useful in the role are: problem solving skills, good decision making abilities, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, assertiveness, flexibility, time management skills and the ability to cope with pressure.

See also

Further reading

  • Galloway, Lee (1922). Office Management, Its Principles and Practice: Covering Organization, Arrangement, and Operation with Special Consideration of the Employment, Training, and Payment of Office Workers. Ronald Press. OCLC 552410934.
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