The insider truth about being an office manager for a start-up

what nobody tells you about being an office manager - hero image

When we think about jobs within start-ups, the first roles that come to mind are probably CEO, developers and designers, maybe even account managers but the office manager is unlikely to surface.

Which I personally think is unfair since it is in large part thanks to their job that the rest of the team gets to perform smoothly (and look great*). Office managers are the unsung heroes of the start-up world and in order to show appreciation for them, we’ve decided to write a post that showcases how complex their work can be.

Special shout-out to our very own office manager Marc who took the time to talk to us about his job and daily tasks.

* Marc has ordered personalised T-shirts for us several times!


the office gif - what nobody tells you about being an office manager


1 – There is strong competition for limited number of high-level positions

While office management can be an exciting career, it is also one that can stagnate quickly. There are only so many places you can go to as an office manager and those positions are highly coveted.

This is by no means a reason to steer away from a career if it’s genuinely what you’re interested in, but it is certainly something important to keep in mind.

2 – Your mistakes are obvious

Office managers must deal face to face with employees and clients, which means that often times their mistakes cannot be hidden as easily as the mistakes of others.

If I upload a post to the blog with a typo in the headline, I might get a nasty message on the comments section — at most, but if Marc gets a number wrong while doing invoices, then he could potentially have a couple of very angry customers or suppliers to deal with. Not exactly how you would like to start your week.

…I have realised I have to work from outside the office when I am behind on my admin tasks.

3 – There are unforeseen responsibilities

The job of an office manager is at the best of times unpredictable. You always try to tell the future, but sometimes it’s just impossible to foresee when a piece of equipment will fail or someone might quit and you have to start a recruitment process from scratch. This means that you must be on your toes at all times, ready to take action at any given moment.

4 – The long work hours

The many responsibilities of the role sometimes make it difficult to get everything done when you want to, forcing you to work extra hours to catch up with the tasks.

Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen very often, Marc!


the office gif - what nobody tells you about being an office manager


5 – Every day can be different

Unlike other more ‘routine’ jobs where tasks start at point ‘A’ and take you to point ‘C’, going through ‘B’, the responsibilities of an office manager look more like a tree that branches out in organic ways rather than a map.

This means that more often than not, you’ll be dealing with very different-looking schedules each time. One day you may be recruiting a new team member, while the next you’re ordering a new laptop and the other you’re handling payroll.

…sometimes your calendar is your worst enemy at the end of the day; you look at it and you have to reschedule the whole week because you didn’t get ‘anything’ done.

6 – It’s a balancing act

Or a juggling act, depending on whom you ask. According to Marc, the key is finding the balance between ‘timing and provisioning’. Which as you may guess, it’s not always so easy.

7 – Your calendar can be your worst enemy

Since it’s a job that must answer to many and has to respond ASAP, following a schedule can be a bit of a hassle for an office manager.

8 – You’re the focus of attention

When something goes wrong, you’re usually the first person both customers and employees address. While some people are glad that communicating with others is part of their everyday job, even the chattiest of employees will find it overwhelming if they become the go-to person for complaints.


the office gif - what nobody tells you about being an office manager


Are you an office manager? Is there anything you would add to this list? If so let us know in the comments below.

In the meantime keep reading the Printsome Blog for more awesome content.

Text: Harald Meyer-Delius
Research: Luna Giontella

T-shirt Printing for Businesses

Thanks to our five years of experience in the apparel-printing industry, we are able to offer a service catered towards the needs of modern start-ups and businesses. Printsome’s apparel-printing services are perfect for making souvenirs, merchandise and staff uniforms, among many other possibilities.

From the moment you get in touch, one of our ‘printing experts’ will answer all of your questions and find efficient solutions to your needs. It is our mission to help you reach your goals. We deliver all over the UK with flexible delivery services that can adapt to most deadlines. Printing T-shirts has never been this easy.

Why worry about inventory or logistics when we can take care of that? We deal with the boring stuff so you have more time to do what matters. To find out more, simply visit our website by clicking on the banner below.

merchandise, banner, branding

Printsome is a T-shirt printing agency based in London that delivers all over the UK, from Brighton to York and anywhere else in between. So, if you’re after a T-shirt or custom clothing, get in touch for a quote and indulge yourself in some awesome customer service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *