Ever wonder what life is like as an Office Manager? Being tasked with ensuring that everything in the office runs smoothly, the role includes a diverse range of skills and responsibilities. We are pleased to introduce you to our Office Manager, Sandra.
Describe what a typical day is like for you?
There really isn’t any such thing as a typical day for me. I arrive at the office early, there are a few co-workers, heads down, clicking away on their keyboards. “Morning Sandra, have a nice weekend? I was just wondering, it’s a bit cold in here today, is the heating on”? I take a detour away from my desk, someone has been fiddling with the heating controls again …. and while muttering something about wearing bigger jumpers, my day begins!
Another delight for this morning is that while everyone is trying to get the Monday morning caffeine fix, it is discovered that somehow the setting on the fridge have been set to freeze and a can of Coke has exploded. A can of Coke can cover a surprising amount when under extreme pressure. There are clearly no volunteers to rectify the frozen Armageddon so by 8.30 I’m on my hands and knees, sponge in hand.
Once I am settled at my desk (and that could be a while after arrival), I review my workload, check the day’s diary so I know if we are expecting any visitors. It’s not long before I am back and forth, dealing with office queries, overseeing a repair or a workman. I’m currently measuring up and making office diagrams for possible desk moves and the associated requirements for IT, telecoms, equipment etc. On my desk someone has left a pile of cables with a note that says “Sandra, this is broken”, what the hell is it? Not a clue but I will find out when something isn’t working for someone. While I do have an office job, my role is surprisingly physical and I am up and about for a lot of the day.
Some of today’s plans include arranging and checking travel for various trips, I am on first names terms with taxi drivers and concierges in places that I will probably never go, relationships are vital. I’ve been trying to locate a suitcase that has been flying around Europe for a couple of months and I think I might actually get it onto the Island today.
I am responsible for the storage of our data so I have some documents to collate and get sent off site, alongside this I am working with a colleague on a huge data project which is taking up a lot of time.
This afternoon I intend to get to my own list of tasks. I have some invoices to approve and send off to Finance and I have the logistics and catering to finalise for some important meetings and visitors. If I get through that I have some costings to review that will hopefully make some savings going forward. It isn’t all just making sure we have enough KitKats.
We are lucky enough to have flexi time so I try to get out of the office for 4pm. I head off to the horses and then home for a dog walk and dinner with Matt.
What is your background?
I trained and worked as a PA for a number of years at the beginning of my career. I think this is a perfect grounding for Office Management, it gave me good business knowledge, problem solving skills and organisational skills that an Army General would be proud of. I have dealt with just about any situation that you can imagine and it’s pretty difficult to find something I can’t resolve or know how to find someone who can.
Later, I worked in Recruitment and HR. Again, it’s finding the right resolution for the right situation.
I was lucky enough to join Boston about eighteen months ago and I love my job. I get to be controlling and bossy all day every day!
What is the best and worst about being an Office Manager?
The best part is probably being able to work with every department in the business. This means that I get to work with just about everyone and I like that. I don’t really have a worst part!
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
Managing the needs and expectations of others against my own workload and deadlines. Also, learning to say “No”. I automatically like to help if I can but there are only so many hours in the day.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
I have two horses and a crazy terrier. Between them they keep me busy, fit and add a unique aroma to the office first thing in the morning. I’m hoping to learn to drive ponies this year.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you?
I like big trucks and have a HGV license.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
This too will pass.