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8 Must-have office administrator skills

Office administrators play a key part in holding offices together. On a day-to-day basis, they’re the people responsible for supporting team members, helping them to maintain high levels of productivity and efficiency. It's common to see record-keeping, creative thinking, and general administrative tasks on a job description, but what else makes a stand-out office administrator? 

Office administrators’ skills are incredibly valuable to all team members. So, what does it take to be a great office administrator? Here, we go through the mix of skills, qualities, and characteristics of an office administrator.

8 Must-have skills and qualities of an office administrator

Depending on the industry, some office administrators will need specialized skills or knowledge. However, most office administrators will need several standard skills in order to carry the job out well. Below, we go through eight must-have skills you’ll need to be a great office administrator.  

1. Strong organizational skills 

Office administrators are nothing if not organized, with impeccable multi-tasking and time management skills, too. They’re able to keep up with and adapt quickly to competing priorities in fast-paced environments, keeping not only themselves organized, but other team members, too. 

They keep records, files, and databases incredibly organized, and are a whizz at scheduling appointments, maintaining multiple calendars, writing memos, creating templates, and making travel arrangements

2. Communication skills 

Both written and verbal communication skills are highly important in any office administrator role. They’re often responsible for managing other office administrative assistants, and so delegating tasks in a clear and understandable way is paramount to the productivity of the office. 

They’re also who people go to when they need something done, ordered, or arranged, which means communication is a non-negotiable office administration skill. 

3. Interpersonal skills 

Teamwork is an office administrator's middle name. Office administrators are able to easily interact with a large range of employees across all levels of seniority and within many different company departments. They're also responsible for keeping the office manager up-to-speed. 

4.Accounting and bookkeeping skills

In some cases, office administrators are responsible for accounting and bookkeeping tasks. They’re often responsible for collating office receipts and travel expenses, preparing and disbursing payments, and compiling statistical or financial reports and spreadsheets. It's also worth noting that many administrative positions require the use of accounting and expense software such as Quickbooks. 

5. Experience with technology and software  

Office administrators must be proficient in the use of common computer applications and software such as programs within Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc). They’re also well-versed in data entry, report compilation, and answering virtual correspondence using different software applications. 

6. Problem-solving skills

Office administrators are the problem-solvers of the office. If the printer breaks, if someone’s keycard stops working, or if the heating breaks down, they’re responsible for getting these fixed while also maintaining the office as usual.

They’re also skilled in navigating their superiors’ competing priorities, schedules, and projects, and are able to quickly switch gear when something needs to be taken care of urgently. 

7. Attention to detail

Since they’re responsible for multiple moving parts, office administrators have a keen eye for the tiniest of details. They know the when, how, why, what, and where of everything office-related, can spot potential mistakes before they happen, and work tirelessly to make sure everyone’s needs are accommodated for.

8. Customer service skills

Last but not least, office administrators are not just responsible for pleasing the office, but for assisting customers and clients, too. Customer service skills are imperative since office administrators are often the first point of contact with customers both in-person and via phone calls, and may need to deal with customer complaints and refer customers to the correct individual or department in a pleasant, efficient manner. 

How to be a great office administrator

If you already have these office administrator skills under your belt, it’s well worth learning some extra skills or honing your existing ones to help you stand out from the crowd. 

Here are some tips to help you become the best office administrator possible!

1. Be proactive with tasks

Office administrators are responsible for multiple tasks that are often competing against one another, too. Although you can’t predict every task that will land at your feet, there are often recurring tasks that you can be proactive with, such as ordering office supplies, budgeting, and maintaining filing systems. 

For example, if you know your company is going through an extensive hiring period and will be expecting several new staff members, you could begin to look into extra office equipment, order extra office keycards, or purchase extra software licenses. This level of strategic planning will help provide a high level of administrative support for your superiors. 

2. Learn more about your company and industry

As we mentioned, most office administrators have several standard skills and characteristics in common. However, to become a more valuable office administrator, you could spend time learning more about your company’s wider goals and objectives, its growth projections, and engross yourself in what’s happening in your specific sector and industry as a whole. 

3. Use tools to automate and streamline tasks 

Office administrators juggle many tasks, many of which are recurring, and could be taken care of with office management software. This also frees up your time for more business-critical priorities. For instance, if managing employee travel expenses for corporate accommodation and transport always falls to you, you could consider using a travel management platform like TravelPerk that can help you create one simple invoice that collects all costs after every trip, eliminating the need to track down invoices from multiple employees.

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