What is Office Management?
Office management prepares plans for an office of a business enterprise in order to achieve pre-determined objectives by using the efforts of personnel, appropriate machines equipment, the vest method of office work and by providing the most suitable environment.
Office management means the method of controlling an office so as to enable to achieve a given aim. Office management may be considered as that branch of management which is mostly concerned with the efficient performance of office work.
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Definition of Office Management
According to Leffingwell & Robinson, “Office Management as an function is thatbranch of the art and science of management which is concerned with the efficient performances of office work, whenever and wherever that work is done.”
According to Mill & Standingford, “Office management may be defined as the art of guiding the personnel of the office in the use of materials, methods, machines and equipment appropriate to their environment in order to achieve its specified purposes.”
Wylie defines “office management as the manipulation and control of men, methods, machines and materials to achieve the best possible result- result of the highest possible quality with the best possible effort and expense, in the shortest practicable time and in a manner acceptable to the top management”.
Now we can understand from the above definitions that office management means planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling the activities of an office.
Functions of Office Management
When office management has to be implemented in an operative manner, there are certain functions that need to be taken into consideration. The functions of office management in brief, are given below:
Planning is concerned with dealing in advance what is to be done; it is the first fundamental function of management. It makes provision of the instructions and courses of action that are required by the managers in order to achieve the goals.
Planning is the selecting and relating of facts, and making and using the assumptions regarding the future in the conception and devising of activities that are required to achieve the desired goals and objectives.
Organizing is the process of combining the works done by the individuals or a group to perform the facilities that are required by the personnel to achieve the desired objectives. The duties performed by the individuals make provision of the passage for the resourceful, logical, constructive and synchronized application of the available determinations.
The function of staffing within an organization refers to the recruitment of individuals into various jobs and positions in accordance with their qualifications, skills and capabilities. When the employees are recruited, for a certain period of time, they are given training about the organization, its objectives and the job functions, which they are required to perform.
Therefore, staffing refers to the methods of selection, recruitment, training, development, promotion and remuneration of employees.
The function of directing refers to the manners and ways in which the superiors and the employers make provision of directions to their subordinates. Their main objective is to lead them towards the right path. It includes leadership, communication and supervision. Leadership is the ability to influence individuals to endeavour enthusiastically for the realization of mutual objectives.
Communication is the process of transferring information from one person to the other person; there are various means of communication such as oral, written, and the usage of technological devices to communicate.
It includes speaking, listening and responding. The function of supervision also comes under directing, it includes attempts to bring about conventionality between the planned and the actual outcomes.
Motivating is the process of stimulating the individual to take action in order to bring about the satisfaction of the requirements and the accomplishment of the desired objectives. The process of motivation moves an individual to perform, work, and to take action; this can be done either by the use of power or force, strictness is also sometimes adopted by the employers or the superiors in order to motivate their subordinates.
The provision of inducements, benefits and incentives is another way to motivate the employees, when they are offered benefits, then they get motivated to work and satisfying the needs of the employees is another way to motivate them towards the achievement of the desired objectives.
It means monitoring, balancing and keeping the team together by ensuring the suitable allocation of tasks and works to various members in accordance to their skills and abilities. Under this function, it is also important to make sure that tasks are performed with an opinion amongst the members themselves. There should be a synchronization amongst the workforce employed within an organization.
Elements of the Office Management
The four elements of office management are:
The office manager must be fully aware of the aims and objectives of the organization in order to make correct decisions. If he knows the purpose of office, he will provide direction to the office activities and thus make it easy to evaluate the performance of different individuals.
The office environmental is not only the physical environment but also the external factors such as the laws and customs of the community within which the firm operates. Efficiency of office personnel depends upon the perfect understanding of office environment. The environment is always changing and the officer must take decisions accordingly.
It is the most important element. The office manager must select suitable personnel and place them in appropriate jobs. They must be given proper training and then only they can increase their efficiency. To realize the desired objective of the office, the personnel must be provided with sufficient incentives to motivate them to contribute their efforts whole-heartedly.
It is a tool and include materials, methods, machines and equipments with the help of which office activities are performed by the office employees. The office manager must know how to use these means in the best manner. The best use of means leads of greater efficiency and effectiveness in the work.
Scientific Office Management
Scientific management, as the name implies, means the application of the scientific method for the solution of the problems of management. In its application, the scientific approach is used in meeting problems of all types instead of depending on tradition.
In view of the present day complexities and growing magnitude of management responsibilities, scientific office management is perhaps the best solution. It does not mean that office management is pure science. It is the application of scientific principles to management decision-making.
In the words of Federick W. Taylor, the father of Scientific Movement, “the scientific management means knowing exactly what you want men to do and seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.”
Scientific management is characterized by a scientific method of attack in the solution of business problems and the development of managerial techniques. It looks, considers and evaluates customs and traditions, personal institution and experience, and inductive deductive thinking.
Techniques of scientific management involve the following steps:
- Setting up of standard tasks through scientific investigation and research (time, motion and method of studies.
- Analysis of operations to evolve the best method of doing the standard task.
- Scientific selection of personnel and their training in the methods involved.
- Standardization of materials, equipment and working environment for workers.
- Introduction of specialization in the administrative and organizational setup.
- Improvement of worker management relations through good faith, perfect understanding and better incentive wage plans.