The best office management software to improve productivity

Managing a modern office is a complicated affair. Where once paper ruled, now virtually all office work is carried out online. From saving files to tracking due dates, leading companies have built a range of office tools that make simple tasks and large-scale projects easy to manage digitally.

In this guide, we'll look at some of the most popular office management tools available today. We’ll also explore the opinions of office managers on their favourite software choices. 

Try G Suite for an all-in-one solution.

As part of its domination of things digital, Google's G Suite is a popular choice with over 6 million users across the world. G Suite is a package of Google admin tools including email, Google Calendar, Google cloud storage, Google Docs, and Google Slides.  

The expert's opinion

"We use G Suite as the central hub for all of our software needs within the business. The integration and user-friendly nature of the package made it a natural choice for us, and its low price was a sweetener, too." 

Louise Hinds - Co-founder, Bluechalk Design

There are several benefits that G Suite offers over competitors in this space. Google's expertise in designing seamless workflows is apparent, given how easily you can get up and running with G Suite. Secondly, many people use Gmail, Google Drive and the Chrome browser outside of work. Widespread knowledge of G Suite software makes it easier for office managers to onboard new team members.

The productivity element of the package is a direct competitor to Microsoft Office. However, Google admin apps such as Gmail and Google Sheets lack the functionality and sophistication of Outlook and Excel. Similarly, Office has been around for much longer than G Suite, and some users struggle to transition from one platform to the other. 

With that said, G Suite is an ideal choice for any office managers looking for a straightforward, robust software package for their team.

Traditionalists should try Microsoft 365

With over 1.2 billion users worldwide, Microsoft Office has long been the global leader when it comes to productivity software tools. This comes as no surprise when you consider that many schools and large employers still use products such as Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.

The full Office suite is now available with Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage and Teams video conference calling as part of Microsoft 365.  

The expert's opinion

"After working in an office environment for 22 years, I am an avid user of Microsoft Office. Microsoft 365 provides me with every 'tool' I need to enable me to carry out my job efficiently, which increases my productivity."

Gemma Brammer - Sport, Public Services and AGFA Administrator, Newcastle And Stafford Colleges Group

"We use the full Microsoft 365 suite, but our favourite (and probably most used) tool at the moment would have to be Microsoft Teams. We've found it invaluable during the lockdown, with our whole team working remotely. 

“It cannot replace a real-life meeting. But it's really helped keep the team together with daily calls, one-to-one catch-ups and even social get-togethers. It's definitely replaced Outlook as our go-to method of keeping in touch with each other."

Jane Woods - Operations Director, Edson Evers PR

Microsoft 365 is the right choice for businesses who are already well versed with the Office suite. If you work remotely, you can easily access all of the products via your smartphone or tablet. 

However, older computer systems might struggle to run some elements of the software. Plus, the complexity and advanced functionality of some Microsoft products can overwhelm many users, particularly those who are more familiar with Google products.

If your business has been built on a Microsoft platform, then Microsoft 365 is the natural progression to a cloud-based system.

Use Slack for powerful messaging

For many years, email has been the electronic communications method of choice. The founders of the instant messaging platform Slack are on a mission to change that. 

Slack is a real-time messaging platform that lets users organise conversations, tasks, and team communications in a more intuitive way than email. From running a poll to decide on a new product name to choosing where to eat lunch, Slack’s project management software integrations are key to improving efficiency. 

Slack has proved popular with many businesses, from start-ups to national space agencies. The channel functionality provides a focal point for teams to share ideas, project updates, and meeting outcomes with a couple of clicks. And, unlike email, it has a clean messaging interface to improve conversation flow.

Critics have suggested that the constant stream of messages can make it addictive, leading to an unhealthy relationship with the app. Similarly, some users have suggested that channels can become unwieldy if not moderated.

For offices that need agile, flexible messaging, Slack is a great addition.  

Try Trello for collaborative project management

Trello is a collaborative project management tool that lets you assign tasks, track projects via kanban boards, and automate workflows. Many respected brands have already begun using Trello for their project management requirements, including Google, Lush, and Squarespace. 

There are several reasons why Trello has become a market leader in office project tools. It is incredibly easy to use and teams can be up and running with the software in less than an hour. An intuitive admin console integration with various other tools. 

It also syncs seamlessly across devices running iOS or Android, meaning productivity can happen away from the office via the mobile app. However, it lacks Gantt chart functionality, and there are no reporting tools integrated into the platform. 

For an office manager looking to smooth out project workflows in a collaborative setting, Trello is hard to beat.

Use CharlieHR for human resources

HR is an area of the office manager's responsibilities that can cause real headaches. Fortunately, CharlieHR is the ideal solution. Built to simplify payroll, onboarding, and holiday processing, CharlieHR is a one-stop management system for human resource planning.

The expert's opinion

"The tool that has made my life easier is CharlieHR. It's really user friendly, not just for me as the product admin but for my colleagues too. This saves me tons of time having to train people on how to use it."

Sara Harrison - Office Manager, Cube3

CharlieHR is particularly useful for SME-sized businesses, thanks to its many capabilities. It's also extremely flexible, so you'll have an HR platform that can grow with you. 

The software has few downsides. We may recommend a more engaging element for employees such as automated feedback capabilities to measure employee satisfaction. 

Overall, CharlieHR is a potent software management tool that will take the weight of human resources off of the office manager's mind.

Use Zoom for online meetings

Video calling has become a standardised form of office communication in the virtual space. All you need is a laptop and a strong internet connection to meet with your team.

In a crowded marketplace that features big names such as Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams, Zoom has come out as the choice to beat. 

Offering online conferencing, webinar, chat, and training capabilities, Zoom is a powerhouse of all things video for brands including Uber, Dropbox, and Western Union. It allows 1,000 video participants and up to 10,000 viewers on a single conference call.

Have you spent hours setting up software for video meetings? Zoom is built to make video calling easy with a top-rated and user-friendly interface. A simple pricing structure includes several useful add-ons including cloud recording of video content.

While Zoom has faced criticism for its limited security features, these were addressed in a series of software updates, and a secure internet connection is needed to use the full-scale platform.

All in all, Zoom is a must-have if you want to communicate over video without committing to a Google or Microsoft system. 

Navigating the world of office management software is never easy but with the right digital tools, you can improve productivity and set your business up for success in minutes. 

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Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.