8 Ways Office Managers are Like Air Traffic Controllers

by Taylor Tuomie
16 de March de 2016


By Taylor Tuomie

The life of a field service business office manager can be summed up with one word - hectic. Office managers are juggling the schedules of service techs, they’re ordering parts, they're handling customer requests and complaints and they're expected to do so day in and day out. Businesses wouldn’t run without the office manager. And that can is evident when they go on vacation or have to leave the office for a few days.

The office manager at a field service business orchestrates every single work day. So what do the best ones have in common? Well, they actually have a lot in common with another profession. Here are 8 ways that field service office managers are essentially air traffic controllers. 



Multitasking extraordinaires

An office manager and an air traffic controller has to have the ability to multitask. In the office, they have to be able to answer phones, route techs, manage work orders, reschedule any cancellations and much more all at the same time. Their multitasking ability needs to be on par with the folks controlling airliners when they're taking off, flying and landing.

Killer memory

Air traffic controllers have to have a terrific memory in order to be successful, same for an office manager. They need to know off the top of their head where their field techs are, they need to know what jobs are being performed and where. 

Team player

Office managers are part of a team. They know that they need to be a team player in order for their techs to be successful in the field. If the office isn’t communicating well with the service techs out in the field, the business will fall apart. 

Emotionally intelligent

A great field service business office manager has high emotional intelligence. They are able to read their customers and their team very well. They have to be able to diffuse tense situations. The stress of both rolls can be incredibly high and the jobs aren’t for everybody because of that. It takes a person that has the ability to keep their emotions under control even in high stress situations. 

Split second thinkers

The air traffic control tower at an airport is filled with split second decision makers. Much like the control tower, field service business offices should be filled with people who can make decisions on their feet. There are times when there might be multiple correct answers and you are weighing out the best possible one. You can’t dwell on decisions like this. A great office manager knows that certain situations call for a speedy decision.

Meticulous planners

It might seem like chaos from an outsider's perspective, but office managers and air traffic controllers manage it. They control chaos through meticulous planning. A good office manager needs to plan out and schedule days, weeks and even months ahead of time. They know that there are going to be busy times, so they get ahead of issues before they arise.

Expert problem solvers

Office managers are the ultimate problem solvers of field service businesses. They need to resolve issues before anyone even notices that there was a problem. A great office manager will know how to take care of problems and do so in a poised manner. 


Extraordinarily patient

Field service office managers and air traffic controllers needs to show great patience with the people they encounter daily. They know that a lot is going to be demanded of them and that they might not always be able to deliver exactly what is being asked of them. 



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