• Heather Turner

Why Do You Need an Office Procedures Manual?

For years I told my colleagues that “in the event, I get hit by a truck, I want to ensure that someone can sit at my desk and be able to do my job” with little to no interruption in the everyday duties of that position. What I learned from this is to be careful what you say. 13+ years ago, a dump truck broadsided my car. Since then, I no longer use that phrase, but I continue to emphasize that for companies, large and small, office procedure manuals are essential for every aspect of the office function.

There are several benefits to having a manual. Two that stand out include 1) there would be little if any disruption in the daily workflow because the temp or a co-worker could refer to the manual’s step-by-step processes, and 2) the owner would feel confident in the knowledge that the office continued to run as usual.

What type of step-by-step procedure information would the manual contain (an overview)?

  • General

  • Accounting

  • Travel

  • Phone

  • Office equipment

  • Mail

  • Facilities (if applicable)

  • Meetings

  • Event planning

For the past 20 years, I have created several manuals specific to the company or organization I have assisted. I have seen, first-hand, how manuals can be invaluable in the day-to-day operation of a company. Some owners and their staff refer to their manual(s) as the “office doctrine.” No matter the size of an office, procedure manuals are essential.

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