Office administration is the process of overseeing the day-to-day operations of an office. The task of administration is usually the responsibility of an office administrator or manager. Depending on the general operating structure of the organization, and the complexity of tasks associated with the operation in general, the responsibilities of the manager or administrator may focus on a few core tasks, or involve the management of a wide range of functions.
One of the core tasks associated with office administration is the management of the employees associated with the office. Typically, office administrators are responsible for supervising the office staff, making sure that each employee has resources necessary to competently carry out his or her assigned duties. Administrators also function as troubleshooters, providing support and assistance to employees when unusual situations arise during the completion of an assigned task. It is not unusual for administrators to be responsible for conducting periodic employee evaluations, recommending pay increases, or providing employees with remedial or cross training as a means of assisting those employees to improve their relationships with the employer.
Along with managing and supporting employees, office administration also involves making sure that the office always has the resources needed to remain productive. This involves coordinating the repairs on any office equipment that is malfunctioning, or preparing and submitting requests for new equipment when necessary. Office administrators are often charged with the task of managing the use of office supplies such as paper, writing instruments, printer ribbons, and other items that are in constant use around the office. The office administrator strives to keep the office operating within its assigned budget at all times, and often has some input into the budget planning for upcoming accounting periods.
Depending on the scope of office administration involved, an employer may require that an administrator possess at least a two-year degree from an accredited educational institution, with that degree in a field related to the general function of the business. With office environments that are more complex, an administrator may be required to have a four-year degree in an appropriate course of study. Many companies prefer to promote from within, which means that someone who begins employment in an entry-level position may eventually receive the training necessary for becoming part of the office administration. When this is the case, the employer normally assists the employee with the opportunity to further his or her education, both through providing assistance in obtaining a degree, and with some type of mentoring program on the job.