Functions of An Office Part 2

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An office is primarily concerned with collection and supply of information. Accurate and up-to-date information relating to organisation and other agencies affecting the organisation is always required for taking decisions and formulating policies. Besides, office has assumed many other responsibilities, such as safeguarding assets, personnel management, procurement of assets etc. which are incidental to the primary function. Therefore, the functions of a modern office may be classified into two categories:

  • Basic functions

  • Administrative functions

Basic Functions

Basic functions are those functions of an office which need to be performed in all types of organisations. They are mainly related to receiving and giving of information. These basic functions are as follows:

Basic Functions

Basic Functions

Basic Functions

Collecting Information

The office receives or collects information about various activities of the organisation. The information may be collected from internal or external sources. Internal sources may be employees and various departments of the organisation. The external sources are customers, suppliers and government departments etc. From internal sources information may be received in the form of letters, circulars, reports etc., and external sources provide information through letters, orders, invoices, inquiries, reports, questionnaires etc. The executives of the organisation may also collect information while visiting other organisations.

Recording Information

The office keeps record of information collected from various sources to make it readily available to the management. The information is kept in the form of correspondence, reports, statements, circulars, lists, charts, registers, books, etc. An office has also to maintain records as prescribed under law. For example, the registered office of a company is required to maintain Register of Members under the Companies Act, 1956.

Arranging, Analysing and Processing Information

The information collected in an office is generally not in the form in which it may be used by the management. Therefore, facts and figures collected have to be arranged, processed, organised, presented and analysed to make them useful to the management. In this connection financial statements, statistical statements, charts, lists, reports, summaries are prepared.

Preserving Information

The information is properly sorted out and preserved in the most economic and scientific manner. Various types of equipment, filing cabinets, etc. are used for preserving records. Unnecessary and out-dated records are destroyed to make space for new and valuable records.

Supplying Information

All accumulated and processed information is useless unless it is communicated. The office serves as a two-way channel for communication. On the one hand, it supplies the collected, recorded and processed information to the management and, on the other, it provides the policy decisions, guidelines and instructions issued by the management to the departments are also routed through the office. The information may be supplied verbally or in writing.

Administrative Functions

Administrative functions are auxiliary to the basic functions of the office which are to be performed for smooth functioning of the office. These relate to the tasks of protecting and safeguarding assets, maintaining and enhancing the operating efficiency, stationery control, choice and use of the office equipment and selection, training, placement, and remuneration of the personnel etc. The following functions are normally considered as administrative functions of an office:

Administrative Functions

Administrative Functions

Administrative Functions

Management Functions

Various functions of management are also applicable to the management of an office functions. Office work has to be planned, organised and executed according to the plan. Control is exercised to ensure efficiency of operations in the office. Staffing, directing, communicating, co-ordinating, motivating is also important for the management of offices.

Instituting Office Systems and Routines

An office has to develop systems and procedures for providing better services to other departments. Each phase of office work is carefully analysed and a proper procedure is developed for it. Proper sequencing of different tasks is necessary to ensure continuous flow of work.

Procuring Stationery and Supplies

Adequate supply of office stationery of proper quality is necessary for the efficient performance of office work. The office purchases standard quality paper, pens, ink and other stationery items, maintains the stock and issues them only on demand.

Designing and Control of Office Forms

Use of standardised forms simplifies office operations. It is the responsibility of the office to design, standardise, provide and control the forms to be used in the office as well as in other departments of the enterprise.

Purchasing Office Equipment and Furniture

Efficient and economical performance of office work requires proper furniture, equipment and machines. Office has to arrange for selection and purchase of these items from reliable suppliers. It has also to ensure timely availability of furniture etc., to departments and employees to facilitate proper utilisation, as well as arrange for maintenance, servicing and replacement according to need.

Safeguarding of Assets

Different types of assets are maintained in an organisation. The assets must be protected against damages and losses on account of fire, theft etc. An efficient control system is exercised by office to safeguard the assets.

Personnel Management

The efficiency of office work depends very much on the employees. Their appointment, training, promotion, appraisal and welfare are the functions of the office.

Maintaining Public Relations

An organisation depends on public reputation and goodwill for its existence and progress. Maintaining public relations is also the responsibility of the office. Most organisations have reception counters to greet and receive visitors to the organisation.

The above is some of the important functions of an office. The nature of these functions differs from organisation to organisation as per the needs.