Office support specialists fulfill a variety of roles in an office environment. Although their duties vary depending on the type and size of the company, office support specialists are typically responsible for much of their office's paperwork and day-to-day operations. Support specialists might work at a reception desk, where they also greet visitors and clients, answer and direct incoming phone calls and provide any needed assistance to visitors.
Support specialists may report to an office manager in larger companies or serve as the office manager themselves in smaller businesses. In this capacity, they are often responsible for ordering office supplies, ensuring that office equipment is fully functional, and making sure that employee facilities are stocked as needed (e.g., restocking water for the cooler and coffee for the breakroom). They are also in charge of gathering and distributing mail, working with third-party vendors to coordinate deliveries, and providing general support for managers within the business.
Office support specialists often work during regular business hours in an indoor environment. A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required. Typically, office support specialists do not need any specific education or background beyond this, although an associate's degree in business and/or prior office experience may be preferred. Office support specialists also handle office duties such as filing and compiling company documentation, so proficiency with basic computer programs and good organizational skills are necessary. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are typically needed as well.
Office Support Specialist Tasks
Answer phones, direct calls and take messages.
Operate office machines; photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems and personal computers.
Maintain and update filing, inventory, mailing and database systems.
Open, sort and route incoming mail, answer correspondence and prepare outgoing mail.
Complete and mail bills, contracts, policies, invoices and checks.