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Perception vs Reality: The life of an Office Manager

2nd December 2021

Perception vs Reality – The life of an Office Manager

A common misconception is that Office Manager is a fancy alternative for “Receptionist”. This probably leads some people to believe the role simply involves answering telephone calls, and administrative duties like ordering office supplies or greeting visitors.

Equally, others consider the Office Manager to be the glue that holds the office together and refer to them fondly with nicknames such as: “Mission Control”, “Office Oracle”, “Captain Admin” etc…

So, what does the Office Management team actually do?

The role of the Office Manager and their team is predominantly to ensure the smooth running of the office. However, the role has evolved dramatically over time. It often entails a range of activities wholly dependent on the company’s needs for that time.

What responsibilities are considered to be the downsides of the role?

The role of the Office Manager is not always as easy as it’s perceived to be.  Any mistakes can be obvious and hard to hide. Equally, when something goes wrong, we are usually the first to hear about it!

Every day is different and often involves new challenges. Naturally, this can conflict with existing priorities and it becomes a bit of a balancing act. Although a large part of our role is to organise others, our own diaries can often be our worst enemy. It’s easy to find yourself caught in the middle of a new priority whilst you’re supposed to be in a meeting or on a call.

What responsibilities are considered to be the upsides of the role?

Surprisingly, we both find the upsides of the role are similar to what are construed to be the downsides.

The role is always changing and evolving, which keeps us on our toes and holds our interest. We also have the opportunity to learn and develop new skills, as we take on various tasks that do not have a dedicated department to assist with.

Fundamentally, the role makes us feel as though we are looking after everyone by positively impacting the working environment and planning events to celebrate our achievements together.

A little bit about Tora… 

Since starting my adult working life managing a country pub, my roles have varied from Executive Assistant to the CEO of a consultancy firm, to becoming Office Manager at a solicitors and then an IT security company.

Looking for a new challenge, I joined Giganet in August as Executive Assistant to Jarlath and Office Manager of the Reading branch.

I met Kate within a few days of joining and knew immediately that together we would be a force to be reckoned with! Nick, Richard and the team made me feel welcome and at ease from the get-go. The Executive team are a pleasure to work with and ensure I am always made to feel that my opinion counts, which is a rarity in my experience.

I have now been with Giganet for three months but feel as though I am very much part of the furniture. I‘m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Giganet as we continue to grow – working together to be the best ISP in the UK!

A little bit about Kate…

I started my Giganet journey a few weeks before Tora in early August. Previously, I worked for IWG in serviced office space, managing buildings across the South Coast and Jersey. Prior to that, I worked for Marriott Hotels, starting as a graduate and working up to Rooms Manager.

I was excited to join Giganet, one of my main drivers was the chance to join a rapidly growing company with a great family culture, and it has not disappointed me!

No two days are the same, and the welcome and support given by everyone here has been amazing – I now feel very much part of the team.

– Tora and Kate