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Office Work Requirements

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Office workers have many duties and responsibilities, including typing, proofreading, filing and computer work. They must be Internet savvy, and have excellent communication and organizational skills. Other requirements may vary by employer. Some require post-secondary school education and previous office work experience, while others require only a high school education and provide on-the-job training.

Education and Training

Individuals interested in office work jobs are required to have relevant education and training. Most employers require applicants to have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Applicants for office-related positions should have some post-secondary school training as well. Classes that provide the skills needed for office work are often available at community colleges, vocational and technical schools, or through online instruction. These skills include keyboarding and computer skills, how to use a multi-line switchboard phone system, and how to operate office equipment such as fax machines, printers, copiers and scanners.

Communication Skills

Office work requires advanced written and verbal communication skills. Workers must know how to communicate clearly, kindly and professionally with clients, co-workers and supervisors, both in person and on the telephone. Office workers must know how to compose and proofread professional correspondence using proper grammar, punctuation, spelling and formatting.

Self- Starter

Individuals who work in an office environment are required to be self-starters who complete both assigned and unassigned tasks whether supervised or unsupervised. Office workers are often responsible for keeping the office running smoothly, which requires planning, forethought and keeping track of details others may have forgotten or neglected.

Computer Savvy

Office workers are required to be computer savvy. This means knowing how to use computer operating systems such as Windows, as well as creating a document with Microsoft Word, a spreadsheet with Microsoft Excel and a slide presentation with PowerPoint. Office workers also need to be competent in using email and the Internet, and should have expertise with printers, copiers and fax machines.

Organization Skills

Completing office work requires excellent organizational skills. Workers must understand how to manage their time wisely and prioritize tasks in order to get their work done in a timely manner. Workers in office environments should also be adept at implementing and following filing, archiving, inventory and other information storage and retrieval systems.

Mathematical Skills

Working in an office environment often involves some bookkeeping, accounting or invoicing, which requires the use of mathematical skills. Office workers should familiarize themselves with accounting and bookkeeping software such as Quickbooks and learn how to operate a 10-key calculator.


Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.

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