The primary responsibilities of an office clerk or assistant include managing supplies and equipment in addition to facilitating means of communication, whereas office managers supervise staff and maintain office systems. Office assistants in smaller companies are typically in charge of multiple duties, while those in bigger companies tend to have specialized functions.
Facilitating communication entails receiving and distributing messages, copying information and mailing correspondence. Furthermore, office assistants attach files to messages and ensure that these reach the appropriate members within the office. To accomplish these tasks, they use computers, phone systems, fax machines and other office equipment. Supply and equipment maintenance includes duties such as checking stock, determining inventory levels, verifying receipts and delivering supplies where they are needed. Additionally, office assistants engage in preventative maintenance and monitoring the operation of office equipment to ensure their proper functionality.
Office managers organize procedures within the office, design file systems and control correspondence. Their responsibilities as supervisors include assigning clerical functions and reviewing supply requisitions. They are often tasked with managing a specific area in the office, such as the mail room or the reception area. The interaction between office managers and office clerks is reflected through the process of recruitment, training and introduction, whereby office managers make sure that all the needs of an office are adequately met even if it entails filling the empty positions with temporary staff.