As an early bootstrapped startupwe don't have the budget to hire a full-time office manager. However there are still tons of tasks that need to be addressed by someone. Now I have no prior skills or experience acting as an office manager... but as a Co-founder here at Desk Nibbles I realized I should just take charge. From making sure everyone is happy with their food to ensuring key meetings run smoothly, I delved into a bit of everything. Of course in an early startup these tasks can vastly range and the "office manager" role is an extremely high growth position. However these are some tools/tips I learned along the way that really helped my experience.
1. Google Calendar
I can't recommend this enough... make sure to keep an updated calendar. Thankfully since we are in 2018 you can manage this all online with the help of Google Calendar. If your workplace is paying for G Suite you'll have the ability to integrate and share your calendar with any of your coworkers. This list of abilities goes on and on, so here is a great guide from Google on setting up things like: organizing team events & travel plans, coordinating schedules and availability with team calendars, sending a daily agenda to your manager's inbox, etc.
Finally manage your personal to do list and office requests all on one board. Engineers & PMs aren't the only ones who have feature requests and deadlines flying at them constantly. It is a huge help to have an Office Board that can involve everyone in making their voices heard and staying in the loop on the progress.
See the example below, you can even enable voting to ensure the most important request rise to the top. You can do all this with a free company account on Trello.
3. Simple Poll
At a startup you're likely using Slack a chat communication channel (if you're not I highly recommend looking into it, it offers many capabilities & integrations to make you and your coworkers lives much easier). Simple Poll gives you the ability to run a slash command in slack to get immediate responses from your team directly in Slack. Gone are the days of coworkers ghosting your survey & feedback links because it's too much work. A great example is democratizing everyone's lunch order:
/poll "What're you feeling for lunch?" "Shawarma" "Tacos" "Sushi/Chinese" "Greek"
As mentioned in the previous tip Slack is key for office communication. As the boss of overseeing all things happening in the office, communication is so important to easily manage. That's what Slack can help you manage, painlessly connecting you to any of your coworkers. You can say goodbye to the wretched overflowing inbox and use Slack to handle your organization. There are also tons of built in tools & third party integrations available, you can read more about optimizing your Slack for maximum productivity here.
You know that brutal back & forth when someone struggles to e-sign a document and you have to print a scanned document just to scan it digitally again? Yeah let's make that impossible by just making it standard to e-sign documents. HelloSign helps make it easy to collect a signature on any document, your receiver can just sign the document right in an email without even opening the document (please still read your documents before signing!).
Boost your expense tracking productivity by automating and streamlining your business expenses. Xpenditure gives you easy to use mobile and web app options saving you from the mess of an outdated paper stack that expensed receipts can add up to. There are also integrations with any of the common accounting tools like: Quickbooks, Netsuite, SAP, etc.
7. Desk Nibbles
Of course my tips wouldn't be complete without listing my favourite office life saver of all: Desk Nibbles. Even if you mess up on some of the above steps; forgetting to book a meeting in Google Calendar, losing all your expense receipts before the end of quarter due date, or signing the wrong documents... Your coworkers will still love you when they see that their favourite snacks are waiting for them, thanks to you. I know it definitely saves me, we subscribe to the Muncher Plan which healthily lasts us 2 weeks of deliciousness. I also never have to worry about people's preferences since Desk Nibbles software optimizes our custom snacking plan automatically.
I hope you found these tools & tips useful, they definitely helped me keep things under control and stay sane.
If you did find these tips useful, I encourage you to subscribe to our mailing list below. I'll be documenting my journey of becoming an office organizer pro. Please let me know in the comments below anything you use in your day to day that I missed.