Office Set Up: Meaning of office, Objectives and Definition of office

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In the organisation you have to perform different tasks assigned to you by your employer. To carry out the job properly you need to have certain facilities. The most important requirement is to have an adequate space to work. You also need to have proper sitting arrangement, well-lighted and ventilated room, safe place to keep your documents and records etc. The place where such types of facilities are made available is called as an office. In this lesson, you will learn about the meaning, objectives and functions of an office. You will also learn about office set-up, location of an office, office layout and working conditions.

Meaning of Office

When you visit an organisation, say a manufacturing unit, you will find that a number of activities are being performed besides those directly associated with manufacturing activities. Such activities include receiving and sending letters, typing, photocopying, word-processing, filing, handling of machines like fax, telephone, computers etc. The place where all such activities are performed is generally known as office. Every modern organisation is required to have an office. Whether it is a Government department, business firm, school, hospital, or a voluntary organisation, the existence of an office is a must to enable necessary clerical and administrative tasks to be performed properly. Thus, office is a service department of an organisation which is connected with the handling of records and provision of various services like typing, duplicating, mailing, filing, handling office machines, keeping records, drafting, using information, handling money and other miscellaneous activities.


After studying this lesson, you will be able to:



Definition of Office

Some of the popular definitions of office are as follows:

Office is a place where clerical operations are carried on’. -Denyer, J.C.

Office is a unit where relevant records for the purpose of control, planning and efficient management of the organisation are prepared, handled and preserved. It provides facilities for internal and external communication and coordinates activities of different departments of the organisation’. —Littlefield, Rachel and Carruth.

The above definitions highlight the following characteristics:

  • collecting information

  • processing information

  • storing information

  • coordinating information

  • distributing information

Thus, an office may be defined as ‘a place where all the activities concerned with collecting, processing, storing and distributing information for efficient and effective management of an organisation are carried out’.

Objectives of an Office

An office is meant to serve the following objectives:

Objectives of an Office

Objectives of an Office

To Provide Support to Management

The managers of any organisation carry on the process of management by taking decisions regarding planning, organising and controlling the organisation. For taking correct and prompt decisions, managers need various information’s at the right time. Office renders invaluable assistance to the management in this sphere.

To Act as a Channel of Communication

Office is the channel through which communication moves from top to bottom and from bottom to top, from the organisation to others and from the others to the organisation. An organisation would fail in spite of the best organisational talent, if objectives, policies, orders and results are not communicated in either direction.

To Facilitate Coordination

The different departments of the organisation while pursuing their own goals may deviate from the common goal of the enterprise. The central office serves as a medium through which activities of different departments are coordinated towards achieving organisational goals and objectives.

To Serve as an Information Centre

Office stores information in the form of records. Records serve the purpose of the information centre or data bank of an organisation. All kinds of information, whether past or present, are available in the office, e.g., if the management wants to know the amount of sales in a particular period in a particular district, it will ask the office which will be able to give this information from the past records.

To Act as a Control Centre

The activities of different departments and the organisation as a whole have to be controlled to ensure that the progress takes place as per the plans. Control is thus the necessary function of management. It involves:

  • establishing the standards.

  • measuring the actual performance.

  • comparing the actual performance against these standards.

  • determining the reason for deviation, if any; and

  • taking corrective action. Office provides the necessary support in all these steps of controlling.

To Act as a Service Centre

It provides various services like clerical and secretarial assistance, supply of stationery to different departments, and other necessary support for the smooth functioning of the organisation.

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