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Administrative Skills and How to Keep an Office Running Smoothly

There were more than 3.75 million administrative assistant jobs available in the US in 2018. Administrative assistants and office administrators are vital for many different businesses across industries.

If you’re thinking about an administrative job, it’s time to look at your administrative skills. After all, those filling these roles need to keep an office running smoothly.

With these skills, you’ll be able to keep almost any office gliding right along.


Communicative Is Tops on Lists of Administrative Skills

One of the most important admin skills for office work has to be communication. As an administrator, almost everything you do will be focused on communicating.

You might be talking to a customer about when they can schedule an appointment. You may be sending out the minutes from the last meeting. You may order office supplies, or you might have a scheduling conflict with team members.

In any of these situations, you need to be able to communicate clearly. You may be talking to someone on the phone or writing an email too. Both oral and verbal communication skills are vital.

An Eye for Detail

Most administrative assistants and office administrators have a keen eye for detail. It’s one of the skills that help them plan successful meetings, work around scheduling conflicts, and more.

There are many ways you’ll need to deploy this skill as an office administrator. You may need it to find the best deal on office equipment. You may be able to book a better caterer for a lower price if you pay attention to the details.

Good Administrators Are Experts at Time Management

The most fundamental of skills needed to be an administrator is time management. Administrators of all stripes are usually excellent multi-taskers. They know how to manage their busy to-do lists with ease.

This penchant for time management also makes them adept at scheduling and planning. Whether it’s crafting the next meeting agenda or scheduling appointments, the administrator is the go-to person.

Most administrators are also excellent at delegating. They’re able to prioritize tasks. Then they can assign time-sensitive tasks, or ones that need attention from certain staff. With this skill, you can keep the office running smoothly and increase productivity.

Your Organizers Have Organizers

Organizing an office as an administrator is probably one of the biggest tasks you’ll face in this role. Organization means more than putting files in folders and backing up to the cloud.

As much as those tasks are important, you’ll also need to spend some time organizing people and events. You’ll need to be ready with a meeting agenda as often as you’ll need to send a schedule to an employee or a client.

If lists, schedules, and file folders are one of your hobbies, you’ll do well with office administration. If keeping everyone on the straight and narrow is another, then this may just be the career path of your dreams.

You’re a Wiz with New Technology

In many offices, the office administrator or administrative assistant is the first line of defense when it comes to IT. Since you’ll use so many tools to organize, file, and plan, you might find you’re in charge of the office’s networking too.

You’ll also be expected to use many different tools. Your office may adopt a new meeting room booking system, for example, and you’ll be expected to know it inside out. After all, you’ll likely be the person your team members turn to when they need to book a meeting.

You may even want to adopt new tools to help make your work more efficient. Keeping up with technology and having good foundational knowledge of computers is a huge asset.

A Desire to Learn

Since technology is always changing, you’ll need to keep learning new programs and new skills.

That’s why a desire to learn will serve anyone in an administrative position well. You may learn new skills or discover new tools to help you become more organized and efficient.

If you want to always be improving, then the desire to learn will help you become a better administrator.

Problem-Solving Skills Are a Must

Administrators and administrative assistants are faced with many challenges every day. You may have trouble scheduling an appointment with clients one day. You may spend the next day trouble-shooting a computer that’s acting up.

No matter how larger or small the challenge, problem-solving skills will help you find better solutions.

Customer Service Skills Are Key

One thing you may not have realized about admin work is that it often involves interfacing with customers and vendors. You may schedule appointments or greet clients when they arrive in the office.

Not every customer you greet will be in a good mood, and some may have complaints or be upset. Your customer service skills are crucial in these situations. You may be the first and last person the customer interacts with.

A Chance to Hone Your Leadership Skills

One of the admin skills that is often overlooked is leadership. Most people think of administrators and administrative assistants as people who take commands.

Administrative work requires you to make many decisions on a daily basis. You may be asked to order office supplies. You’ll need to make decisions about when to order them, who to order them from, and which brands to buy.

You might need to make decisions about scheduling to avoid conflicts.

Those in administrative roles often have to show more leadership than people think. You may be asked to test out new tools and make recommendations, or you may need to mediate a conflict between two employees.

In any case, you’re exercising your leadership skills. It’s a great opportunity to prepare for your next role.

Steady as She Goes

Master these administrative skills and your office will run much better.

Most offices today use plenty of technology. So if you want to keep your skills sharp, be sure to check out more of our articles.

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