Meaning of Office
The term office has been defined in various ways. In simple words, It can be described as a place where some “business is carried on.” This is an inadequate definition of office. Denyer describes it as a place where clerical operations are carried on. Although the definition given by Denyer falls short of the modern concept of an office, yet it does convey an idea about its functional aspect.
The term office is intimately connected with clerical operations. It is thus concerned with paper work. The term office is to be identified with an activity and not a place. Wherever clerical operations are performed, they are office functions.
Now we are in a position to attempt its definition. The office can be described as any place where information on paper converges and information is documented, preserved and used for current and future operations of a business. This information may relate to production, marketing and various other activities of a business. Office lends cohesion and system to these activities. A proper record of orders and their execution is essential. A proper record of purchases made and the amount due and the amount paid to suppliers is basic to the existence of a business.
Importance of Office
The office can be described as an important part of an organization. To sum up, the importance of the office arises due to the following factors.
- Office as information center: It can be described as the information center or data bank of an organization. All kinds of information and figures, whether past or present, are available in the office. The information furnished by the office serves as the basis for forecast, planning and control.
- Channel of Communication: Office is the channel through which communications, move from top to bottom and in the reverse order as well. An organization would fail, in spite of the best organizational talent, if objectives, policies, orders and results were not communicated in either direction.
- Aids in coordination: The process of coordination is almost impossible without the presence of office. Office furnishes the machinery for coordination. Coordination is possible due to the links that office provides for various activities of the organization. Office provides the necessary information and knowledge for coordination.
- Aids in managerial controls: Control can be described as the measurement and correction of the performance of subordinates in order to make sure that enterprise objectives and the plans made to achieve them are accomplished. Control is thus a necessary function of management. Controlling requires
(i) Establishment of standards
(ii) Measurement of performance against these standards; and
(iii) Correction of deviations from standards and plans.
We cannot fulfill the requirements of control without the help of office. Necessary data, information and plans are prepared and presented on paper. All this is necessary a clerical operation.
- Importance vis-a-vis workers: Effective human relations require effective organization. Preparation of wage and salary sheets and their payments are the responsibilities of the office.
- Importance vis-à-vis shareholders and creditors: Work of issue of share certificates, share transfer, issue of dividend warrants, issue of notice of company meetings and answering different issues of shareholders is of great importance which cannot be performed without the help of the office.
- Importance in relation to customers: Office acts as the channel that links the business organization with its customers. Their inquiries, orders and complaints are taken care of by the office through direct personal conduct.
- Importance in relation to government and general public: Today a business organization is recognized as a social institution. It is required to satisfy government regulations. The office is the link between different government departments and the organizations. Office also links between the general public and the organization.