Office management is the technique of planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling office activities with a view to achieve business objectives and is concerned with efficient and effective performance of the office work. The success of a business depends upon the efficiency of its office. The volume of paper work in offices has increased manifold in these days due to industrialization, population explosion, government control and application of various tax and labor laws to any business enterprise. Efficiency and effectiveness which are key words in management are achieved only through proper planning and control of activities, reduction of office costs and coordination of all activities of business.
“Office management can be defined as a task of planning, coordination, motivating the efforts of others towards the specific objectives in the office.”
“Office management, as a function, is that branch of the art and science of management which is concerned with efficient performance of office work whenever and wherever that work is to be done.” — William If. Leffingwell and Edwin M. Rot.
“Office management is manipulation and control of men, methods, machine and material to achieve the best possible results-results of highest possible quality with the expenditure of least possible effect and expense, in the shortest practicable time, and in a manner acceptable to the top management.”— Harry H. Wylie.
This definition stresses the utilization of resources of business like material, methods etc. to achieve the objectives and results in a best and cheapest way and in a minimum possible time.
“Office management is the art of guiding the personnel of the office in the use of means appropriate to its environment in order to achieve its specified purpose.”— Mills and Standinhford.
According to this definition, a proper understanding of the objective purpose is necessary so that all efforts and activities are directed in its achievement Environment where office work is to be performed is provided by management after proper planning. Environment means surroundings where employees of an enterprise operate. It includes physical factors like location, layout, lighting temperature, ventilation, cleanliness etc. Various business laws, customs practices etc. must also be made known to employees.
In this definition, author has treated office management as an art of guiding and directing personal or employees in the organization in the use of various means such as machines equipment, office forms, manual, methods etc. The definition stresses the development of persons in the office and not direction of things. Office management must understand the behaviour and needs of his employee so as to motivate him to work by influencing him and by providing incentives so that objective of the organization is achieved.
In simple words, office management can be defined as “a distinct process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating and controlling office in order to facilitate achievement of objectives of any business enterprise’ the definition shows managerial functions of an administrative manager. Following diagram indicates various elements or functions in the process of office management.
Importance of Office Management:
The following points highlight the importance of office management:
(i) Helps in Achievement of Targets:
Targets or goals are results in quantitative terms which are to be achieved in a given time. Management makes people realize the goals and directs their efforts towards the achievement of these goals.
(ii) Optimum Use of Resources:
Management helps in utilization of resources effectively. Scarce resources arc put to use optimistically by managers. Managers bring about coordination and integration of various resources. It is management which guides the personnel in office in the use of resources.
(iii) Minimization of Costs:
Office costs can only be reduced under the guidance and control of efficient management. Office Management is concerned with doing the office activities in a best and cheapest way. Cost reduction is one of the object of management which can be achieved through work simplification and mechanization. Through better planning, sound organization and effective control, management enables a concern to reduce costs and prepare an enterprise to face cut throat competition.
(iv) Smooth Flow of Work:
Uninterrupted flow of work is only possible if there is proper planning and control. Management ensures efficient and smooth flow of work.
(v) Helps in Maintaining Office Efficiency:
Management helps in maintaining efficiency in an office. A manager not only performs and produces results, but also does it in the most efficient manner so as to contribute towards profit generation.
(vi) Managing Survival and Growth
Management has to play an important role in keeping the organization alive. Change in technology and methods must be anticipated and adapted for survival and growth. It is only management which can do so and moulds the enterprise in such a changing environment.
(vii) Provides Innovation:
Innovation is finding new, different and better method of doing existing work. To plan and manage innovation, management has to play an important role. Suggestions from customers, information from salesmen, and close watch on competitor’s activities provide source of innovation.
(viii) Helps in Retaining Talent and Inculcating Sense of Loyalty in Office Staff:
Efficient management helps in retaining talented and hardworking employees by providing them comfortable work environment. Manager must motivate his employees by recognizing and appreciating their talents.
(ix) Provides Leadership:
Management provides leadership by influencing and guiding office personnel. Managers influence his subordinates to work willingly for achieving organizational goals.
(x) Managing Change:
Importance of office management is that it helps in planning the change and introducing it at the right time and in the right manner. Due to change in technology methods, work procedures etc. have to be changed for efficiency and economy. People resist change due to lack of understanding the reasons for change and lack of training in new methods. Management helps in minimizing resistance of people and acts as a change-agent.
(xi) Maintaining Public Relations:
Office management helps in improving public relations and increasing goodwill of an enterprise by dealing with grievances of consumers and general public.
(xii) Social Benefits:
Management is beneficial not only to the business enterprises but to the various segments of society also. It provides and maintains link with various types of suppliers, banks, insurance companies, government departments, and general public. It benefits society as a whole by providing its services.
(xiii) Facilitates Coordination and Control of Various Office Functions:
Office management helps in harmonizing all the office activities. It facilitates control by influencing behavior of events to ensure their conformity to plan.