An office messenger is responsible for safely transporting documents and small packages from one office to another, even of those offices are in different buildings on opposite sides of town. One of the most common modes of transportation for an office messenger is the bicycle. This is because a bicycle can be left in the lobby of a building or office while a package is being delivered. Unlike driving a car for errands, the messenger does not have to waste his time finding parking and walking between the parking spot and the office building. There is not specific prerequisite training for an office messenger, but it is important to be physically fit and knowledgeable about the geography of the city's business district.
The nature of office messenger work has changed since fax machines and electronic mail have become common. Now that documents can be transmitted to the other side of the globe in the matter of seconds, it is not necessary to have an individual hand deliver hard copies of certain documents in many cases. There are, however, some documents that must be delivered in hard-copy form. This is especially true of documents that require signatures and legal documents. These kinds of documents are still sent via office messenger on a regular basis.
In addition to delivering packages in a safe and timely manner, an office messenger is also often responsible for obtaining proof of delivery. This proof may come in the form of a signature on a slip of paper or on an electronic screen. Some companies that hire messengers provide them with devices that capture such signatures, allowing customers to find out when their packages have been delivered. In some very large cities, an office messenger may only service the offices within a certain district. For example, a New York city office messenger might only be responsible for ferrying packages within the financial district or within the midtown area.
There are a number of drawbacks to being an office messenger. First of all, the job can be physically exhausting and also puts one at greater risk for bodily injury. Even safe bike riders are at risk of injury when traveling alongside cars and trucks. Also, the job is not especially well paying and there is not a great deal of room for growth. Unlike other kinds of jobs, there is little likelihood of promotion for office messengers.