The following are 10 essential factors of a modern office.
1 – Office is 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.
2 – Objectives of an office are (a) To provide support to management; (b) To act as a channel of communication; (c) To facilitate coordination; (d) To serve as an information centre; (e) To act as a control centre; (f) To act as a service centre.
3 – The functions of a modern office may be classified as (i) Basic functions; and Administrative functions. The basic functions of the office include, (a) Collecting information; (b) Recording information; (c) Arranging, analysing and processing the information; (d) Preserving information, and (d) Supplying information. The administrative functions include, (a) Management functions; (b) Instituting office systems and routines; (c) Procuring stationery and supplies; (d) Designing and control of office forms; (e) Purchasing office equipments and furniture; (f) Safeguarding of Assets; (g) Personnel management; and (h) Maintaining public relations.
4 – Office set-up is the systematic arrangement of positions in the office to enable office personnel to work as a team. It is the process of dividing the activities of the office into departments, assignment of duties to each department and providing the necessary facilities to the personnel.
5 – An office generally consists of departments or sections like Correspondence Section, Typing and duplicating section, Computer section, Filing, indexing and record-keeping section, Mailing section, Accounts section, Cash section, Public relations section, General office.
6 – Location of office means the place and site where the office of an organisation is situated. The factors taken into consideration while determining the location of an office are: (a) Availability of sufficient space; (b) Proximity to other departments; (c) Proximity to other offices; (d) Availability of transport and other facilities; (e) Availability of office employees; (f) Healthy environment.
7 – A suitable building with a sufficient number of rooms for carrying out the administrative and routine functions is essential for every office. The office building may be owned or rented.
8 – Office layout can be described as the arrangement of different departments, equipment and staff within a given floor space with a view to make optimum use of space and ensure maximum efficiency of the office.
9 – While planning and designing the office layout, one must keep in view characteristics of ideal office layout like (a) Flow of work, (b) Free movement and observation, (c) Adequate space for staff and equipment, (d) Service facilities, (e) Private offices, (f) Flexibility and expansion, and (g) Separation of noisy departments.
10 – The surroundings in which office personnel work should be healthy and pleasant. Poor office environment results in low output and low morale of employees. Labour turnover and absenteeism also tend to be high. Therefore, executives pay attention to (a) Cleanliness and sanitation, (b) Lighting system, (c) Ventilation and temperature (d) Reduction of noise, (e) Interior decoration, (f) Furniture and fittings, (g) Safety arrangements, and (h) Office security.