An Office may be regarded as a place where the control mechanisms of an organisation are located.
The complexities of business activities are increasing day by day. With the spectacular developments and advances in the fields of science and technology the manufacturing techniques have undergone a rapid change. The economies of large-scale production have brought into being a number of multinational business organisations. The ever-widening markets also pose a challenge by themselves. The complexities of legal provisions (of industrial and business legislation), which are subject to constant change, to achieve social objectives, also require more than adequate attention. Moreover, modern management has to take care of the new emerging human relations in business. All these problems can be satisfactorily tackled only when adequate information is available. Information is required by all the members of an enterprise. An efficient and effective organisation and management must possess all the information it needs to enable it to come to a variety of decisions. To retain information, to analyse it and furnish it for the management, are the basic functions of a modern Office. So much so that the phrase ‘Information Management’ has gained currency in preference to the older one ‘Office Management’. The reason is that information management connotes more precisely the activities performed by a modern Office.
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What is a Modern Office
The modern approach to the study of the term Office is to view it as a function rather than a particular place. When an Office is regarded as a function, it can plan, organise, co-ordinate, standardise and supervise paper work, wherever it is done and whosoever does it.
Each Office has a personality of its own. This personality is a reflection of the purposes for which an Office exists. The Manufacturing Office will have a profile that differs from that of a Sales Office. The accounting Office will have a different orientation from a research and development Office. “In organising a new Office, the Office Manager must first determine the prime reason for the existence of that Office and then add the necessary ingredients to bring about an efficient operating entity that achieves predetermined results. Although offices differ from one another in prime responsibility, many activities are commonly carried out by all the Offices Some of these activities are: Processing Incoming Mail; Processing Outgoing Mail; Dictation; Transcription; Typing; Printing; Copying; Filing; Records Retrieval; Records Disposal; and Communication.
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The functions of a modern Office may be classified into two categories:
Basic functions (or routine functions)
- Receiving Information
- Recording Information
- Arranging Information
- Giving Information
Administrative management functions
- Management Functions (planning; organising; staffing; directing; communicating; controlling; co-ordinating; and motivating)
- Public Relations Function
- Instituting Office Systems and Routines
- Retention of Records
- Safeguarding Assets
- Form Designing and Control
- Stationery and Supplies Control
- Selection and Purchase of Office Appliances
- Personnel Function
- Controlling Office Costs
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