This week we were interested for the first time in the job of office manager and that’s why we interviewed Jennifer Genestier, Founder & CEO of Gom&GO, an Office Managers recruitment agency.
Presentation of the activity
I have a lot of experience as an office manager. I was freelance and I have created an agency which serves as an interface between freelance missions of office managers and companies. So I have experience analyzing the companies’ market through these missions. Currently, I do not do a lot of office management anymore but I have done it a lot in the past, and I also worked with HR in helping the office management. That’s why my current vision is less precise and much broader.
Presentation of the job of office manager
1- Step backwards
The job of office manager largely consists in keeping an active watch because the market moves a lot and there is always something new to discover. What enables the office managers to achieve fulfillment and to evolve depends on the setup of the new tools enabling them to get rid of repetitive missions, and to become Happiness Managers, by working on the corporate culture, the wellness, the organization and the management.
Some years ago, the job of office manager did not exist in France. I arrived in this job 7-8 years ago and there were very few people who were working as an office manager. However, in France, we have a big background in the tertiary sector, executive assistant, management assistant, secretariat, etc.
When the job appeared, new roles were added. It created various profiles, enabling them to merge skills and roles into one position. This answered the needs of the growing companies.
2- Office Manager vs Executive Assistant
The job of office manager is still very new. Indeed, when we talk about it, people assume that it is just another title for Executive Assistant. But the jobs are not the same at all. The office manager is like a pilot. He is not here to execute what we ask him to do. He is here to be source of proposals, to bring improvement for the well-being, to watch over the market, the network and the ecosystem of the company. It is here where the office manager acts. It constitutes a real link between each cell of the company, internal or external. This is not merely administrative, accounting, or commercial work.
3- An atypical profile
This job was created with certain skills and expertise because most professionals were trained in this field. There are people who are more apt to HR, others who are more financial, whereas others will be more commercial. Each person will develop their identity in this way. We realize that it is thanks to these things that the office managers are able to learn on the spot and grow to help their company.
It is also important to see everything one is able to do with only the skills of an office manager. They can be CEO because they know how to manage and administer a company. The office manager must be multi-skilled. That’s why the tools they use will help save time for the executive side of management. With more time, they will be able to focus on the big picture of the job which is to pilot, to connect between tools and humans, to ensure that it corresponds to the corporate culture and management. It is from here that they become Happiness Managers.
4- A job which tends to evolve
Over the last few years, we have seen a transition from managers being focused on a single aspect, to now where they must be able to perform in several different functions. However, with the emergence of new tools to assist them, it has made the transition much smoother. Slack was a revolution for office managers; all of a sudden they were able to communicate, share things, bring an added value and well-being to their job. They gradually became Happiness Managers. Today, we use QuickBooks, Slack, Trello etc. As soon as start developing a need, a new tool seems to emerge to simplify the job in order to work more efficiently.
Dunforce, an opportunity for the office managers
Dunforce can be an interesting tool particularly for a freelancer who has a recovery activity before litigation. Now, there are many freelancers who do this. This would save them a lot of time, thus improving the well-being and productivity. Freelancers and Office Managers were very scarce in Paris at the time. But after the emergence of tools such as Dunforce, it makes their job easier so they can focus on other important aspects of the company. As we continue to transition into the world of tech, we may see and emergence of tools to automate some of the duties of an office manager.
The job of office manager is still scarcely known today, or used under a different name. However, it is one of the most important positions in the modern day of business. The office manager is the driving force in the organization and the link between the different cells of the company. True autodidacts, they are not here to execute what they are asked. If the job of office manager tends to develop or to extend, the implementation of new tools will further promote its evolution and the well-being of its users becoming real happiness managers by focusing more on corporate culture.