An office is a place where clerical operations are carried on. By definition, an office is a unit where relevant records for the purpose of control, planning and efficient management of the organisation are prepared, handled and preserved. It provides facilities for internal and external communication and coordinates the activities of different departments of the organisation.
Meaning of Office
When you visit an organisation, say a manufacturing unit, you will find that a number of activities are being performed beside those directly associated with manufacturing activities. Such activities include receiving and sending letters, typing, photocopying, word-processing, filing, handling of machines like fax, telephone, computers etc. The place where all such activities are performed is generally known as an office.
Every modern organisation is required to have an office. Whether it is a Government department, business firm, school, hospital, or a voluntary organisation, the existence of an office is a must to enable necessary clerical and administrative tasks to be performed properly. Thus, an office is a service department of an organisation which is connected with the handling of records and provision of various services like typing, duplicating, mailing, filing, handling office machines, keeping records, drafting, using information, handling money and other miscellaneous activities.
Characteristics of Office
• collecting information
• processing information
• storing information
• coordinating information
• distributing information
Thus, an office may be defined as ‘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’.