Tips for Effectively Managing Multiple Office Locations
According to the 2015 ECP Compensation Study, office managers who are responsible for multiple-location practices are earning, on average, 31.5% more than those managing single offices. The reason for this is likely due to the fact that multiple locations come with a great deal of work and responsibilities. Different time zones, environments, and personalities can create unique challenges for each business location. Managers need to find ways to encourage cohesiveness so everyone feels a part of the team no matter what location they work in.
So how can you more effectively manage multiple locations? Consider these tips:
Tip #1: Embrace New Technology
The reason people are able to work so effectively from virtually anywhere today is due to solid internet connections and helpful applications that ensure we are still able to communicate effectively despite distance limitations. If you aren’t able to embrace technology and how it can help your business, you are creating more work for yourself as a manager, and that list of office manager duties will only get longer and harder to navigate. Although custom-built software and VPN systems have served as helpful tools before, there are many viable options available that are robust and require far less IT and financial commitment.
Here are a few more commonly used applications that help multiple locations communicate more effectively:
- Salesforce.com: Collaborate about your sales and opportunities in real-time with this popular CRM tool.
- Basecamp: This project management tool gives you the ability to manage a variety of projects with a simplistic and easy-to-use web platform.
- Google Gmail/Documents/Calendar: Give your employees access to their work documents from anywhere using Google. Having instant access to appointment information, email, and important business-related documents will enable your employees to easily get what they need right when they need it.
Tip #2 Make Communication King
Tools can help, but real communication tops them all. Every office should feel equally involved in how the business functions, and the only way to do that is through effective communication. A robust phone system like ShoreTel Connect or Avaya IP Office should be accessible for every employee so they can connect quickly and easily. The CEO or owner of the business should make regular trips to each location to connect and hear employee concerns. A weekly team meeting where everyone participates should be a priority. And lastly, plan to have the entire team together at least once a year to participate in brainstorm sessions and team building events.
Tip #3 Get Systems in Order
Systems provide the ability to duplicate offices and reduce the amount of supervision needed to get work done. Establishing roles, responsibilities, and authority helps prevent possible issues caused by confused employees. Ensure each employee knows what the organizational structure of the business is, as well as what they are responsible for and measured upon. This encourages a clear sense of accountability no matter where someone is working.
Implementing the proper systems and new technologies partnered with effective communication can help you navigate the growing list of office manager duties.