An office procedures manual outlines the general procedures and policies that govern the way in which the office is managed. It will generally describe in detail the responsibilities and duties of a specific position, especially in an office where there may be a variety of personnel performing similar tasks. The hierarchy of positions should be explained in an office procedures manual. This will inform the employees of the hierarchy of the office so that no boundaries are crossed, as well as inform them of who to consult when they are having a specific problem.
Office manuals will also detail office policies, such as vacation time, holidays, sick and personal days, office hours, breaks, etc. In theory, an office procedures manual should provide an employee with all of the basic guidelines of how to perform his job. It may give an explanation about how to perform specific tasks, such as computer operations, filing procedures, where extra supplies are kept, etc.
Having a resource like this to refer to makes training new personnel much easier because it formalizes all the operations that are expected of each employee. Also, all details of compensation and any health benefits that may be provided should be detailed in the manual. This may include overtime, compensation during vacation, or the handling of petty cash.
An office procedures manual should also outline how one is expected to conduct themselves in the workplace. Behavior that is considered appropriate and inappropriate may not always be obvious to all employees, and there is less of a chance of an incident if unacceptable behavior is clearly explained. Having a manual aids in office in staying consistent and reduces the amount of confusion and error in the workplace