Mel Phillip’s Diary: A Week in the Life of No Brainer’s Office Manager
Meet Mel, our wonderful office manager. Mel has been with us since June and manages all aspects of life at No Brainer. From co-ordinating our whole office move and taking charge of invoices and company policies to choosing our office Christmas decorations and managing the team’s diaries, Mel’s role is probably the most diverse in the team.
So, last week we asked her to write it all down! An important week for all things Christmas-related, Mel has been busy getting everything in shape for the new year, including a new-client pitch, interviews, invoices and of course, the No Brainer Christmas party!
I’m one of those annoying morning people, so I get up at 5.45am to head to my beloved CrossFit gym for the early morning class. Then it’s home to get my coffee, take my daughters to school and head over to the office.
Once fully out of “mum mode”, my day starts with a quick five minute chat with the girls about ‘I’m a Celeb’ and who we’re predicting for the win… then onto business as usual.
I start my week off by checking the diaries for the week ahead. Although I’m not directly involved in client meetings I like to keep ahead of where the directors are for the week, if the team have any visitors and if there is anything I can do to help make their week run just that little bit smoother.
I send out the usual the time sheets reminder email, I don’t think anyone actually enjoys completing time sheets, but they’re really important to the company and to my role. I manage the financial aspects of the business and report in to the directors on a regular basis keeping them informed on client budgets and the team workload, so I need my information to be as up-to-date as possible.
Even after I head home, I’m never fully out of touch with the team as we have a company WhatsApp group and the current hot topic is Emily’s new puppy Norman – we’re all in love!
Tuesday is an earlier start as we are interviewing for new team members this week. It always creates a bit of a stir in the office when we look to bring in new people. We’re a tight but super friendly team and we love new people. Any time you bring in a new team member it changes the dynamic, so we’re selective about who we bring in, they have to not only be awesome at what they do but also be great team players.
Then on to make some phone calls, some good ones; sorting the Airbnb apartment for the Christmas do – this year we’re heading to Liverpool for Bongo’s Bingo – Grease night! Lee can’t wait 😉
On to some calls on a slightly less fun level; Accountants about the VAT figure for this quarter and the solicitors about a GDPR addendum (I have read so many legal documents recently I think I would stand a good chance at passing the bar!).
As an office manager, I have to be able to adapt to tasks across the board, but this actually gives me great job satisfaction. I will help whether the task falls under my job description or not, it’s always about the end goal for the company. I’m proud to be the type of employee that will give any task my best shot.
Nothing quite gets the team as giddy as an Amazon Christmas delivery. Every time a new box arrives, it’s opened with a mini crowd and a rummage through to see what it is this time.
A delivery of what feels like 40,000 boxes of Christmas decorations arrives for the office. I have to keep hiding them in the kitchen cupboards as I may have gone a teeny bit over budget… but who doesn’t!
It’s such a fun part of my role organising social events and decorating the office, it hardly feels like work. I’ve gone all out with an 8ft tree, ceiling decorations (all in keeping with our beautiful office of course!) and I’m also building a fireplace out of cardboard boxes for the stockings. We don’t mess about when it comes to Christmas!
We have another round of interviews today, so the directors have been flat out meeting new people, so we’ve been looking after them with lots and lots of tea. We’re pretty good at sharing the tea rounds, but occasionally we have to decide with the ‘Tea Round’ app… which I’m pretty sure Lee has pre-fixed to Gary… but the rest of us are all totally fine with that!
It’s then on to speaking with the furniture company to place the order for the additional desk space for the new team members and catch up with Lee regarding the new staff handbook and policies. Part of my role has been to help the company drive forward new processes and policies to make sure – as the company grows – we are as prepared as possible and have everything in place. I’m not a fan of reactive work, I like to embrace my inner Scout and always be prepared!
First thing Thursday we have the air conditioning engineers in for routine maintenance. I am the point of contact for the business site manager for anything relating to the office from fire evacuation drills, sorting car park passes through to raising any issues such an aircon or electrical problems. Keeping the team’s office life as simple as possible helps them to focus on their day, so my role is to act as shield/buffer from the fundamentals. I want my colleagues to turn up and everything just works and runs smoothly as if by magic!
In the afternoon we have a full team meeting for an upcoming pitch. When it comes to brainstorming pitch ideas we all get involved no matter what your role in the company. Everyone is capable of that one great idea. Office management isn’t exactly known for its creativity so it’s great to sit with the team and play my part.
Following the pitch meeting, I help Gary with creating the presentation for the meeting next week. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I like to make sure our pitch documents are consistent, aligned and reflect how passionate and capable the company is and it also helps the directors having a second pair of eyes to run over the presentation.
I run the finance reports and chase some outstanding invoices. It’s an important part of my role to make sure I keep on top of the finances and everything is as up to date as possible.
Good financial management is key to running a successful company, it’s not something you can take your eye off and I feel very responsible for making sure we’re always clear on where we financially. I know it helps the directors to feel confident in pushing the business forward and that they have someone they can trust to take care of everything behind the scenes. It’s not glorious sometimes, but it’s a diverse and rewarding job, especially when you work with a team like No Brainer!