Skills Every Office Administrator Needs to Have

Administrative professionals play a key part in holding a team together and a lot of organizations would fall apart without them.

Pros Administrator who hold well-developed administrative skills help to ensure the organization runs efficiently, and constitute a crucial factor in the management of projects and growth initiatives.

Roles such as office manager, customer service officer and human resources administrator need specific skills to ensure they can support staff and meet the team’s needs. The Robert Half Salary Guide assists in establishing not just what administrative staff should be paid, but also what skills are necessary for the job.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ administrative role. Companies are always looking for administrative professionals who fit in specifically with their unique corporate goals and culture. Nevertheless, there are a number of must-have skills that are at the top of the list for most companies.

In recognition of Administrative Professionals’ Day, here are the most sought-after administrative skills for any top candidate in this field. Having a good handle on the following administrative skills will not only enable you to perform your duties efficiently and effectively but will aid in developing your career, making you a more desirable candidate for employers.

Organization and Time Management

The business office administrator is usually responsible for a wide range of tasks such as filing, answering company emails and phone calls, booking appointments and meetings, bookkeeping, data entry, payroll, etc. As such, employees in this role need strong organizational skills to succeed. Often an office administrator is responsible for keeping track of not only his/her tasks and calendar, but also that of the other office workers and the calendar of the executives of the business. If an administrator lets tasks get away from him/her, the result can be chaos for the rest of the office.

Microsoft Office

A strong background in all Microsoft Office programs is crucial for those in administrative roles. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook form the basis of many business communications and processes.

The amount of experience in each program that is required for a role will depend largely on the level of the position. For example, an entry-level Administration Assistant may only be required to update existing documents and create basic reports, while an Office Manager might need to create new projects, procedures and templates. Overall, knowledge of Microsoft is therefore the most important criterion in the recruitment of administrative employees.


Due to the fact that the office administrator has a hand in so many different office tasks, he/she must interact with other staff and with customers on a regular basis. This means that having exceptional communication skills (both verbal and written) is imperative in this position. To have good communication skills a person must not only know what to say, but how to say it. Having tact and speaking (and writing) in a professional and non-confrontational manner goes a long way to creating a harmonious office environment. In some instances, the administrator may even be called upon to deal with customer complaints, so having the ability to communicate clearly and calmly can really help diffuse tense situations.

Have Patience

As an Office Administrator, you probably prefer working according to a schedule and operating in an organized environment. It is, however, guaranteed that unexpected events will occur, and when they do, you need to be able to handle them in a calm and efficient manner.

When a client cancels a meeting at the last minute, for example, try to reschedule the meeting as soon as possible, and try to fill the time scheduled with something else, such as a quick catch-up session with your boss.


An office administrator typically has at least a few employees that he/she is responsible for overseeing. Delegating work and staying on top of its progress often fall under the business office administration heading. A good office administrator leads by example and encourages teamwork and cooperation between office staff and other employees. Those in the position must be approachable so that employees working for them will come to them when guidance is needed. They also need to be comfortable with setting the work standards for the office and taking measures to ensure that those requirements are met.

Problem Solving and Ability to Shift Gears

Due to the fact that office administrators have their hands in so many different aspects of a business, being competent at problem solving is a must. Sometimes office managers must deal with conflict between other staff members. These issues need to be dealt with quickly and effectively to maintain an efficient workspace. Other times administrators need to rapidly switch gears from working on one project to tackling another more pressing one that has just popped up. Knowing how to undertake problems and in what order are essential office administration skills.

These are some skills that you need to become a pro administrator. If you want to know more about business and finance visit our site

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