How I Use Fin as an Office Manager
Laura, 25 May 2017
I am the office manager at a rapidly growing startup (yep, Fin!). Anyone in a similar position knows that on a given day, the term “office manager” can take on any one of dozens of meanings. So far in my time as Office Manager, I’ve been the human resources specialist, recruiting coordinator, administrative assistant, marketing coordinator, event planner, and CFO. The time I have to actually “manage office” has become more and more scarce. And that’s where Fin comes to my rescue.
1) What recurring orders do you manage for your office?
Fin is perfect for taking on recurring tasks and orders. There are a million services out there that claim they can take care of our kitchen-stocking needs, but we have a strict no-junk-food policy and as a result, can’t find a service more convenient and economical than simple grocery store ordering. Rather than me keeping an eye on the kitchen supply every day and placing one-off orders, I simply sent Fin my usual grocery requests and have it place the orders at a cadence set by me.
Try it: Send Fin your shopping list and delivery preferences, add your company card to the vault, and Fin will take care of the rest. Fin will set up recurring orders as you instruct, and manage the accounts for you.
2) Do you need a simpler way to manage your team’s requests?
Part of managing an office full of people is managing those people’s requests. I’ve tried every way to keep track of office asks from my team, but sometimes they get forgotten or delayed if I’m caught up in other work. With Fin, your teammates can email Fin directly with their requests, and keep your inbox clear. In our office, Fin will just grant the request if it’s something we’ve ordered in the past (i.e. “Fin, we’re out of printer paper.”), and ask my approval first if it’s something unusual (i.e. “Fin, can we get a pet snake for the office?”) (No, we cannot.)
Try it: Tell your colleagues to start sending in requests to Fin and watch them get done on autopilot. Fin will manage any supply-ordering and do your to-do list for you.
3) Do you spend too much time scheduling meetings?
I like to consider myself the keeper of all calendars. I usually have 5 or 6 calendars overlaying each other at once to make sure I’m on top of where everyone is, who’s next in the interview schedule, or when to expect outside guests to arrive for meetings. As such, I’m often the POC for internal meeting coordination. Calendaring is one of Fin’s specialties. Now we have everyone on the team share their calendars with Fin, and when three or four employees need to find time to sit down, Fin will find the time slot that works, book the conference room, and invite the relevant individuals.
Try it: Give Fin permission to view and edit your calendar (and have your colleagues do the same). With a complete view of everyone’s schedules, Fin can choose the right time and place for both internal and external meetings for your team.
Are you in charge of hosting team events?
With a 24x7 team, we try to always have tons of events on our calendars for our employees, so that everyone has a chance to hang out, even when their shift times vary. So, I’m constantly on the lookout for new, creative ideas for team outings besides just grabbing drinks at the bar next door. Fin does the research to help me come up with new ideas and places I never even knew about, all on a budget that I set. Once I find something I like, Fin will just book it on my behalf! Fin keeps me accountable to always having team events on the calendar, and to not be overwhelmed by the extra work.
Do you need to organize meetings with clients or partners?
Besides internal team events, we’ll also host the occasional external event. User meetups, marketing events, and recruiting events all require different venues and vibes, and many times I’ll find myself planning something in a city I’m not even familiar with. Research on restaurants and venues takes time, and the back-and-forth with their respective events teams can take days, sometimes just to get a quote. Fin can research and generate the list of potential spots, handle the communication with each, and organize the information in a consolidated, digestible format so I can pick a winner. Once booked, Fin can help manage the guest list as well. I can say, “Fin - invite Sam to our next user event,” and Fin will send the info / track responses so we know who to expect.
Every team is different. Maybe some of the above applies to you, maybe not - but three things are true for almost all office managers:
You need help with shoulder tapping
I intentionally took the desk in our office that’s the most visible and most approachable spot in the room. In an ideal world, I could live up to my claim that I’m “interruptible any time,” but in reality, in an office of 50 people, I can’t afford to spin around for every shoulder tap and still get work done. With Fin, I’m able to outsource those internal requests and skip the interruption altogether. Instead of asking me for things, our employees now go straight to Fin. We run out of AA batteries, or we don’t have the right laptop charger for someone, and an employee can just email Fin with a link or simple request. If it’s something we’ve ordered in the past and just need to re-up, Fin will do it automatically. If it’s something unusual or new, Fin will check with me for approval first, then do the rest.
Fin acts as my first responder when things go sideways. Recently our office dishwasher broke and our team put up with handwashing dishes for days until I could get a repairman in to fix the machine. But with Fin, when an employee notices something is broken or in need of some love, he/she can just email Fin a picture of what broke and Fin can get to work finding a fix or replacement. That way, if something happens on a weekend or when I’m out of town, the team doesn’t have to wait on me to get things fixed. Fin can come to the rescue.
Teams Need Love
Fin is perfect for managing tasks that you always wish you would do, but that end up slipping through the cracks. I try to stay on top of celebrations in our office, be it birthdays, work anniversaries, weddings or new babies -- there’s always something to celebrate. I try to be thoughtful and on top of it all, but 10 times out of 10 Fin will remember the important events (whereas my track record is slightly less than perfect). Fin can remind me to send someone a shoutout, or go one step further and send it on my behalf, maybe even including a gift that I wouldn’t have thought to get.
If you think Fin can help you as an office manager, reach out to email@example.com to learn more about our special team plans.