Business and government deal with all sorts of operation, including sales, manufacturing, distribution, provisions of service, transport and a host of others.
They range in size from small (maybe two or three people) to very large organizations employing hundreds or even thousand of people. Regardless of function or size, however, most business has some sort of office.
In any organization, the office is the central area where operations are brought together and information is processed. The work done in the office supports management policies and coordinates the roles of the various de departments or sections.
The office also provides service to members of the public and is generally their first point of contact with the organization. Here is an outline of the main functions performed in business office.
Control and planning
There are many office functions involved in controlling an organization’s operations and planning for the future. They can include:
- Drawing up budget
- Controlling stock and finance
- Production planning and control
- Holding meeting and discussions
- Managing warehousing
- Researching market needs
- Setting sales targets
- Observing trends in the marketplace
- Assessing competitors’ products and performances
- Researching overseas developments
Office staffs are responsible for receiving and processing information from other staff members and sections, as well as from external sources. They also generate information and material for use within the office and by clients, customers and the general public. Information processing tasks can include:
- Delivering information to relevant personnel, suppliers of goods, client and customers (for example, by internal or external mail, memo, and phone, fax, the internet, email, courier or press release).
- Processing orders, invoice and delivery dockets
- Preparing and distributing product information
- Entering data
- Maintaining current staff directories
- Maintaining an up-to-date client database
- Providing customers service information
- Holding face-to-face discussion
Storage and retrieval
An efficient office develops and maintains effective systems for storage and retrieval of information. These can include:
- Standard naming systems for computer files
- Regular back-up of computer files
- Well-organized paper-based files for example, hanging file in a cabinet, card file, rolling storage units, secure storage of critical documents.
- “in”, “out” and “pending” trays for paperwork
All filing or storage systems should allow for the disposal of records which are no longer required.
Many office staff works in support roles. This work can include:
- Providing information to support the aims and objectives of the organization for example, by producing promotional material
- Using organizational skills
- Assisting managerial staff to fulfill their responsibilities
- Providing technical support
- Maintaining amenities such as car parking, toilet and washroom, lunchroom, and sport or recreation facilities
Human resources management
Some organizations have a human resources department, or at least someone who undertakes the various roles involved in human resource management. This is an area of office that specializes in a range of support functions. These can include:
- Employing new staff
- Processing payroll and salaries
- Maintaining staff morale
- Training staff
- Understanding and implementing industry requirements for occupational health and safety
- Maintaining up-to-date information on union membership and awards
- Understanding and implementing equal opportunity requirements
- Arranging staff social activities