What is Office Systems? Meaning, Characteristics, Importance

  • Post last modified:5 July 2021
  • Reading time:17 mins read
  • Post category:Office Management

What is Office Systems?

An office system can be defined as an orderly arrangement of whole activities of an office and framing of procedures to be followed for the effective and economic performance of work.

Office Systems refers to the various components and elements of an office, from computers and work equipment to its physical layout and ambiance. It also covers the way employees interact and the overall office culture.

An office has its own system to do office work. The reason is that volume of work of an office differ from another. System means a pre-planned approach to do the day-to-day work to achieve the desired objectives of an organization.

Some of the major office systems and procedures applicable to every office are enumerated below:

  • Dictation and transcription
  • Filling
  • Inter-office communication
  • Duplicating and reproductive services
  • Mailing-incoming and outgoing
  • Telephone and telegraph services

Meaning of Office System

Office system means planning of an office work systematically to achieve the main and subsidiary objectives of an organization within minimum efforts and costs.

A functional office system will ensure that your employees have access to the knowledge they need when they need it. Therefore, it’s essential that you provide them with modern computer systems,

Characteristics of Office System

These are the following characteristic of a good office system:

  • Office systems are inter-related parts operating in a sequence and they are not isolated actions.
  • Office systems are concerned with the method of work in the office.
  • They aim at achieving the goal of an enterprise.
  • They are concerned with the place and the time of performance of work in the office or any part of the enterprise.

Importance of office system

  • If the office staff has to be trimmed adequately, then it is imperative to have a good office system.

  • The common error caused by a employee can be reduced to a large extent if the system is proper, and established in the office.

  • Frustration, delays and blockage of the office work is reduced if there is a good office system.

  • To ensure that there is proper coordination, control and supervision in an office, it is necessary to have a very good office system.

  • Since there is a method involved in the system, it helps a job to move faster as the personnel in the office know and follow the system.

Objectives of Office Systems

An office system is based on the nature of work performed and the extent of inter-linking among them. So, office system is required to achieve the following objectives.

  1. Improve Operating Efficiency
  2. Maintain Uniform Procedure
  3. Optimum Utilization of Resources
  4. Reduce office Expenses
  5. Minimize the Operating Expenses
  6. Fixation of Responsibility
  7. Facilitating the introduction of new checks
  8. Achieving Organization Goals
  9. Errors Reduced
  10. Smooth Running of an Office
  11. Prevention of Fraud
  12. Better Coordination

Improve Operating Efficiency

Office system helps to avoid unnecessary motions there by improve the efficiency in the performance of work.

Maintain Uniform Procedure

Uniformity is maintained in the collection of dues from the debtors. Whenever default is made by the debtor, the same practice is followed while collecting the amount from them.

Optimum Utilization of Resources

The available resources of an office are equipment, (like computer typewriter, etc.) personnel, space, furniture and the like. These resources are properly utilized for performing office work in a planned and systematic manner.

Reduce office Expenses

Unnecessary motions are eliminated and standard automatic equipment and machines are also installed in an office. In this way, the office expense is reduced to some extent.

Minimize the Operating Expenses

Standard or maximum limit is fixed for each and every type of expenses. The actual expenses can be measured and compared with standards. Necessary steps can be taken to minimize the operating expenses, if needed.

Fixation of Responsibility

Works are assigned to the office personnel specifically. In this way, the responsibility is fixed for satisfactory performance.

Facilitating the introduction of new checks

Sometimes, duty lists can be prepared for office personnel separately and also included in the office manual. This process facilitates the introduction of new check system.

Achieving Organization Goals

The performance of any work leads to achievement of organization goals. Here, well designed office system helps to achieve organization goals in a better way. Simplify the training Office system clearly indicates degree of skill required to do a job. The result is selecting the best training requirements of office personnel.

Errors Reduced

A good office system can reduce the chances of errors and improve the overall efficiency of an organization.

Smooth Running of an Office

Delays and bottlenecks in the performance of work are reduced with the help of good office systems.

Prevention of Fraud

Office system includes internal verification or internal checking. Internal checking assists to prevent the frauds and exercise better control over work.

Better Coordination

Coordination is necessary among various sections or departments. The required coordination can be arrived by having good office system.

Principles of Office System

General principles of office system are listed below.

  1. To avoid any interruption in the smooth running of office work.
  2. To avoid duplication of work and records.
  3. To avoid unnecessary movement of persons.
  4. To avoid unnecessary writing.
  5. To avoid using unnecessary forms.
  6. To prepare the best use of specialization.
  7. To adopt labour-saving machines.
  8. To minimize the writing work of the staff.
  9. To apply the principle of management by exception
  10. To have a simple, economic, efficient and practicable system and procedure.
  11. To avoid unnecessary checking or verification.
  12. To use simple forms to be filled in.
  13. To avoid use of machines for personal gains.
  14. To increase the efficiency of the office work.
  15. To achieve goals at the minimum cost

Advantages of Office System

Following are the advantages of office system:

  1. Liberation of Management
  2. Avoidance of Delay and Bottle-Neck
  3. Elimination of Error
  4. Better Speed
  5. Training to the Staff
  6. Better Control
  7. Better Co-ordination
  8. Economy
  9. Better form Design and Form Control

Liberation of Management

The single advantage is of utmost importance. A good system leaves the boss free to do what only he has to do he can plan, institute desirable action, examine the result of that action, evaluate performance, institute improvement, delegate with confidence provided that he will use the system to do about all the work which does not requires his attention.

Avoidance of Delay and Bottle-Neck

Good system ensure smooth running of the office and thus all kind of delay and bottle-necks are avoided. The work proceeds smoothly.

Elimination of Error

Since a system is based on all proper analysis, chances of error gets eliminated or at least minimized. This further adds to the efficiency of the machine.

Better Speed

Speedy dispatch of work is possible as a system is based on the method of work employed and not on mere whims and fancies of an individual worker or a manager.

Training to the Staff

Office system make the training of the staff better and thus efficiency of worker in the office improves. A few well-trained workers are better than an army of untrained workers.

Better Control

System ensures better control of the work and, in turn, helps in eliminating frauds.

Better Co-ordination

Proper coordination is a major aim of the system. Better coordination is possible through the introduction of a system. This results in greater cohesion and efficiency. Bottle-neck is removed.


A good system also saves on overhead expenditure and direct labour because method of work are based on proper analysis and they are changed from time-to-time to meet the changing environment of business.

Better form Design and Form Control

As a good system aims at a better form design and control, the work efficiency of the office increases and the unnecessary laggards get eliminated. This leads to greater efficiency in all the departments of the enterprise.

Limitations of Office System

Following are the disadvantages of office system:

  1. Limitation of Integration
  2. Limitation of Planning
  3. Limitation of Cost
  4. Limitation of Repetitive
  5. Limitation of Strict Adherence

Limitation of Integration

System must be integrated to achieve the system of objectives. System integration is a formidable task and thus imposes a limitation on system that operates in various departments. Certain systems have to be modified keeping in view the demand of other systems which operate in the organization.

Limitation of Planning

Planning of system imposes a great limitation. A system will fail to produce results unless proper planning go into its installation.

Limitation of Cost

The cost factor is one of the important factors while deciding upon the formulation and adoption of the system. A system must be evaluated at the planning stage to judge its efficiency so that it may bring about economy in the office instead of increasing overheads and direct labour cost.

Limitation of Repetitive

Use If a system is used repetitively and repeatedly, it loses its efficiency in great measure. It becomes a great restraint on the office. Change in the system must be made from time to time on the basis of current needs, which imposes a great expenditure on the organization.

Limitation of Strict Adherence

Strict adherence to system all the time makes a system inflexible and unworkable. Thus it is essential that a system should leave something to the discretion and judgment of the manager, supervisor, and the subordinates

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