Administrative or Management Functions of an Office
It is not enough for any office to carry on its basic functions only. In addition to these basic functions, the office has to perform several auxiliary functions of vital importance. The auxiliary functions are more important than primary functions. It is only the auxiliary functions, which ensure the very existence and purpose of an office. These functions, in fact, help in the performance of the basic functions of an office.
1. Organizing the Office
Organizing the office on modem lines involves performing the management functions of planning, organizing, directing and controlling. In other words, the office work must be properly planned, organized and then executed according to the plan.
A proper control must be exercised over the office activities and also over the affairs of different employees and departments. Besides them, activities must be effectively coordinated.
2. Laying down Office Routines and Systems
For steady and undisturbed performance of the office work, the office should develop definite Routine Systems and Procedures. Since all the jobs in the office are interdependent and interrelated, there should be proper sequencing of routine for each type of work. This is possible only when proper systems etc. are laid down.
3. Form Designing and Control
A form is a standardized record, which is used to accumulate and transact information for reference purposes. These forms serve as a storehouse of Information. Since the office work is largely paper work, the forms used should be properly designed so as to furnish the required information in an appropriate manner. It is the duty of the office management to design the forms that can be used in various departments.
4. Procurement and Supply of Stationery
It is stated already that office work is mostly paper work. To carry on the office work, stationery of suitable quality should be supplied to the clerical staff and others in required quantities. The office should arrange for the procurement of the necessary stationery and issue them to all departments on the basis of their need.
5. Selection and Purchase of Office Appliances and Equipment
In every office, the management should provide suitable furniture to its staff so that they can perform their work conveniently. Besides, modem devices like telephone, calculators, typewriters, Dictaphones etc. are extensively used now-a-days.
Labour saving devices have become popular in all modern offices. The office manager should procure the right type of equipment and also maintain them in good working conditions. Since modem equipment is very costly, proper care is needed for preserving them.
6. Public Relations Functions
Public understanding and acceptance are essential for any growing organization. This calls for constant touch with the public i.e. public relations. The purpose of public relations is to make the enterprise look good to all actions.
According to M. C. Shukla, the functions of public relations are:
1. To keep the managers at all levels well informed about the current status and changes in the opinions of the public — both internal and external. Internal public include the key policy makers, supervisory personnel, employees and the shareholders.
2. To warn about the unfavorable reaction of others to the action of the company and to suggest a suitable modification in the company’s action to avoid such unfavorable reaction.
3. To communicate the company’s policies and actions to the public by all established media.
Every organization has to deal with a number of external public. Therefore, every organization has to make proper arrangements for the reception of visitors and to attend them promptly and courteously.
Usually, the task of receiving the visitors is entrusted to the office personnel. The warm reception given to the visitor and a fair deal to him shall directly contribute to the building up of the image of the company.
In most established organizations, one receptionist is usually employed in the office. Even when there is no receptionist, the office must make sure that the visitors are attended by some responsible person.
In this connection, a learned scholar rightly remarked as follows.
The office is not merely the eyes and ears of the business. It is also the hand that makes friends for the company by extending warmth and the cordiality to outsider.
7. Personnel Functions
We know that the office work can be performed only by trained and experienced office personnel. To procure suitable personnel, an office performs certain personnel functions also. It recruits, selects and trains the clerical personnel and places them on various jobs in the office.
Sometimes, particularly in large undertakings their work is delegated to the Personnel Department. But the office manager must assist the Personnel Officer in the matter of selection. The office manager should also-provide them proper working environment in the office and motivate them for peak performance.
8. Controlling Office Cost
Clerical expenditure on office cost is yet another factor, which needs control. By adopting scientific methods like mechanization of the office, adopting labor saving devices, using proper forms and periodically analyzing and reviewing the existing systems and procedures, the office cost can be controlled effectively and reduced substantially.
- Administrative or Management Functions of an Office