The Office - Business Studies Form 1 Notes

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Introduction

  • An office is a place, a room, or a building set aside in an organisation where communication, secretarial, accounting, administration and clerical work take place.
  • It is in an office where information is received, acted upon and recorded. It is also in an office where goods are purchased, money is collected from customers, staff are recruited and salaries and wages are paid
  • An office is regarded as the nerve centre of an organisation where various operations take place.


Importance of an Office in an Organization

  1. Enables management carry out its functions efficiently
  2. It serves as a centre where policies, rules and instructions that guide the operations of the organization are formulated
  3. Provides the information needed to managers to enable make decisions
  4. Provides a conducive environment for information storage, retrieval and dissemination
  5. Coordinates all the activities of the organization


Functions of an Office

  1. Receiving and recording information
    - The office receives information in the form of letters, telephone calls, orders, face to face conversion and reports. Received information is also recorded and stored in files, flasdiscs, computers, books of account, registers etc. This information is used by management in decision making.
  2. Distribution (dissemination) of information
    - The office facilitates the passing of information from one point to another for implementation. For example, the books of account are passed over to the accounts office for action.
  3. Mailing
    - Mailing involves processing and sending out letters and parcels. The office enables the processing and dispatch of out-going correspondences and parcels from various departments.
  4. Reproduction of documents
    - It is in the office where documents are reproduced. This can be done using typewriters, carbon copying, photocopying machines, printing machines etc.
  5. Safeguarding and controlling the organization’s property
    - Through the office, organisation’s property is protected and controlled. This can be done through the following ways:
    • Enhancing security to get rid of cases of theft
    • Ensuring that staff use property with care
    • Keeping proper records of the organization’s property
    • Conducting physical stock-taking of the organization’s property
    • Taking insurance cover against the organization’s property
    • Ensuring organization’s property is repaired, serviced and maintained regularly
  6. Communication
    - Communication refers to the passing of information from one person to another.
    - The office is the centre of communication in the organization as it facilities information flow.
  7. Filing
    - Refers to the process of classifying, arranging and storing documents for easy retrieval when required. The office provides a conducive environment where filing is done in the organisation


Methods of Reproducing Documents in the Office

  1. Carbon Copying
    - This is a method of reproduction of documents where copies are obtained using carbon papers.
    - The copies can either be handwritten or typewritten.

    Its advantages
    • Convenient where few copies are required
    • It is cheap
    • Does not require any special training

    Its disadvantages
    • It is not convenient for many copies
    • Copies may be misaligned
    • Produces poor quality copies
    • It may not allow the production of copies with different colours
    • It may not allow the reproduction of some documents e.g. photographs
  2. Duplicating
    - Refers to the reproduction of several copies from one copy known as the master copy. Duplicating is appropriate where several copies of one copy are required

    Methods of duplicating
    1. Ink duplicating
      - This is where documents are reproduced using ink duplicators. When using this method, a stencil is cut using a typewriter or a stylus pen. The stencil is then fed into the duplicating machine to produce the required copies

      Its advantages
      • Cheaper especially when many copies are required
      • Errors can be corrected
      • May produce good quality copies
      • Stencils can be stored to be re-used
      • It is fast

      Its disadvantages
      • It is expensive where few copies are required
      • It is time consuming
      • It may not produce high quality copies
    2. Spirit duplicating
      - This where a spirit duplicator is used. The master copy is prepared from which copies are reproduced. With the help of spirit, carbon is transferred from the master to the copies being produced.

      Its advantages
      • Cheaper where few copies are required
      • Allows the reproduction of copies with different colours

      Its disadvantages
      • It is not suitable for many copies
      • Copies produced fades out with time
      • The master is expensive
    3. Photocopying
      - Refers to the reproduction of an exact copy of the original document using a machine known as a photocopier

      Its advantages
      • It is cheaper when few copies are required
      • It is faster
      • It does not require special training to operate
      • It produces high quality copies
      • Allows the production of coloured copies
      • It does not pollute the environment

      Its disadvantages
      • It is expensive where many copies are to be produced
      • Copies may fade out with time
      • Only specific colours may be copied
      • It requires electricity
      • Photocopiers are expensive to acquire
    4. Printing
      - This is a method reproducing documents using either a printing machine or by mechanical means.
      - Copies can be produced using a printer which is connected to the computer or networked with the computer.
      - The information is fed into a computer and the computer is instructed to print the required copies

      Its advantages
      • Produces high quality copies
      • Different colours can be reproduced
      • Convenient where relatively many copies are required
      • It does not pollute the environment

      Its disadvantages
      • Printers are expensive to acquire
      • Requires trained personnel
      • It requires electricity
    5. Stencil (screen) printing
      - This is a method of printing where characters to be printed are cut out from a piece of paper, placed on a screen and ink applied. The impressions of the characters are left on the surface. It is mostly used to print words on T-shirts.

      Its advantages
      • It is cheap
      • Requires little training
      • Easily adaptable
      • It can produce a variety of colours

      Its disadvantages
      • May reproduce poor quality documents
      • It does not allow the production of many copies
      • It may pollute the environment
    6. Offset lithography
      - This where the document to be reproduced is first filmed using a camera and the information on the films used to produce an image on a flat sheet of metal called a plate. This plate is then affixed onto the printing machine to produce the required documents.
      - It is used to produce documents such as certificates and photographs. It can also be used to print on plastic and metals.

      Its advantages
      • Produces high quality documents
      • It is appropriate where many documents are required
      • Different colours can be produced

      Its disadvantages
      • Initial and maintenance cost of machines is high
      • It pollutes the environment
      • Requires monitoring
      • The machine requires electricity

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Means of Reproducing Documents

  1. The type/nature of documents to be produced
  2. The impression desired
  3. Number of copies needed
  4. The quality of copies desired
  5. Availability of skilled personnel to do the reproduction work
  6. The reproduction cost
  7. Availability of the means of reproduction


Filing

  • Filing refers to the process of classifying, arranging and storing documents so that they can easily be obtained or retrieved when required.

Filing Systems

  • A filing system is the style of managing files in an organization
  • There are two types of filing systems, namely:
    • The centralised filing system
    • The decentralised filing system

The Centralised Filing System

  • This is a filing system where one department has the responsibility of managing all the files in the whole organization.

Its Advantages

  1. It ensures uniformity in filing
  2. Well trained and skilled persons can be employed to do filing
  3. Easy to supervise and control filing activities of staff
  4. It is more economical in buying filing equipment

Its Disadvantages

  1. Only few people in the organization will know how the system operates
  2. Denies staff in other departments the opportunity to train and acquire filing skills
  3. Accessing files and documents may take long due to the file being attended =elsewhere
  4. The file may not be traced quickly in case the file tracking system is poor
  5. It may lead to misfiling of documents

The Decentralised(Departmental) Filing System

  • This is a filing system where each department is responsible for its own filing

Its advantages

  1. Files and documents can be accessed faster
  2. More staff members have a chance of acquiring skills in filing
  3. Chances of misfiling of documents are minimised
  4. Documents can be filed promptly and immediately they are received

Its disadvantages

  1. Wastage of space since each department will require space for its filing
  2. Supervision and control of filing is difficult
  3. May result in uncontrolled file movement
  4. It leads to duplication of work hence wastage of resources

Characteristics of a Good Filing System

  1. It should be simple to understand and operate
  2. It should not occupy too much space
  3. It should be suitable to the needs of the organization
  4. It should be flexible so as to accommodate future changes
  5. It should be able to protect documents against loss, misplacement, damage, theft or landing on wrong hands
  6. It should facilitate easy retrieval of information
  7. It should not be expensive to start and maintain

Forms of Filing

  1. Vertical filing
    - This is where files are arranged in drawers in a vertical position
  2. Horizontal filing
    - This is where files are kept in horizontal positions in the drawer
  3. Lateral filing
    - This is a mode of filing that uses pockets instead of drawers. Files are arranged vertically
  4. Circular filing
    - This is where files are kept in wallets around a vertical circular pillar

Electronic Filing

This is where documents are stored in electronic devices such as flash discs, CDs or computer hard discs.

Advantages of Electronic Filing

  1. Requires very little space
  2. Retrieval of documents is easy and fast
  3. Files can be accessed easily
  4. The cost maintaining files is relatively low
  5. The process of filing documents is automatic hence faster
  6. Documents are safe
  7. Presentable outlook
  8. Reduces labour costs
  9. Easy to update
  10. Reduces paperwork
  11. It is environmental friendly

Disadvantages of Electronic Filing

  1. Extra care must be taken to guard and protect files and documents from unauthorised access
  2. It requires special training on use of computers
  3. Electronic filing requires electricity
  4. Breakdown of the computer system leads to inaccessibility of the documents
  5. A file back-up system is required

Role (Importance) of Filing in an Office

  1. Protects documents from loss and landing into unauthorised hands
  2. It makes the office neat, tidy and efficient
  3. It keeps a record for future reference
  4. Enables easy retrieval of information
  5. Ensures that documents are kept clean, neat and tidy.
  6. Ensures confidentiality of information
  7. Provides identity of an organization
  8. Contributes to easy management in the organization
  9. Enhances communication
  10. Saves on storage space
  11. Encourages transparency and accountability as no documents are easily misplaced

Benefits of Using Latest Technology in Record Keeping

  1. Enables the organisation provide speedy customer care services
  2. Enhances confidentiality of information
  3. Records can be easily retrieved
  4. Produces clean and presentable documents
  5. Saves on storage space
  6. Enhances accuracy in the office
  7. Cost of maintenance of the record keeping system is lower
  8. Documents are not easily damaged
  9. Information is not easily lost
  10. Enhances business image
  11. Electronic gadgets are portable
  12. Less labour is required

Factors that Determine the Length of Time Documents Should be Stored

  1. Availability of space
    - Documents can be stored for long is space is available as compared to when space is inadequate
  2. Cost of storage
    - Files can be stored for longer when the cost of storage is lower unlike when storage cost is high
  3. Nature of information
    - Urgently needed information is stored for a shorter time unlike less urgent information
  4. Need for reference
    - Information can be stored for long when future reference is required unlike when future reference is not required


Types of Office Layouts

  • Office layout refers to the outlook, arrangement and positioning of furniture and equipment in the office.
  • Furniture and equipment should be arranged properly so as to:
    1. Make the best use of office space
    2. Achieve maximum work output
    3. Facilitate easy flow of work
    4. Easily supervise workers
    5. Have an attractive appearance
  • There are three types of office layout:
    • Open office layout
    • Enclosed office layout
    • Landscape office layout

Open Office Layout

  • This is a type of office layout where there is a large room where all staff work from.
  • Staff members may be grouped into departments.
  • Open office layout is mostly used in banks and educational institutions e.g. staff room.

Its Advantages

  1. Supervision of workers is easy
  2. It is cheaper to construct
  3. It saves time when passing information since staff movement is minimized
  4. Close supervision of workers ensures that office equipment and machinery are not misused
  5. It promotes teamwork among employees
  6. Its maintenance cost is low
  7. Floor space is saved
  8. It is easier and cheap to decorate
  9. It discourages absenteeism of employees
  10. The layout is flexible hence it can be re-arranged when need arises

Its Disadvantages

  1. There is disruption and disturbance from colleagues
  2. Mixing senior staff with junior staff reduces the status of senior staff
  3. The office may be untidy
  4. Due to overcrowding, air conditioning, lighting and heating in the room may not be conducive to all
  5. There may be noise from machines and workers which is likely to distract concentration and productivity
  6. Employees with contagious diseases may spread them to their colleagues
  7. Private discussions and consultations with management may be difficult

Enclosed Office Layout (Private Plan Office)

  • This is a type of office layout where staff are allocated rooms. The rooms may be occupied by one person or by two people.
  • Names and titles of the member(s) of staff allocated a room are pinned on the door.
  • Enclosed offices can also be referred to as cubicles.

Advantages of an Enclosed Office Layout

  1. There is privacy for confidential discussions
  2. There is less noise and disruption from workers and machines
  3. Provides a conducive working environment
  4. Retains the status of top level employees
  5. The occupant can control air conditioning, lighting and heating in the room
  6. Ensures security for valuable and sensitive items

Disadvantages of a Closed Office Layout

  1. There is no close supervision of workers
  2. It is costly to construct and maintain
  3. It encourages absenteeism
  4. There is time wastage when moving from one office to another
  5. It encourages laxity in the office
  6. It reduces interactions between management and other workers
  7. There is a possibility of misuse of office facilities e.g. telephones

Landscape Office Layout

  • This type of office layout is similar to open office layout except that it is well decorated with better outlook, furniture and equipment. For example, the office may have a carpet, air conditioners, indoor plants and shrubs, flowers etc.
  • Workers may also be categorised into departments by demarcating offices using clear glass.

Its Advantages

  1. It promotes teamwork among employees
  2. It promotes the sharing of office equipment thereby reducing the cost of buying more equipment
  3. Supervision of workers is easy
  4. Its maintenance cost is low
  5. It is to locate workers within the office
  6. It discourages absenteeism of workers
  7. Decorations in the office creates an attractive and conducive working environment.

Its Disadvantages

  1. Noise from machines and colleagues may interfere with concentration of worker
  2. It may be expensive to set up and maintain the office
  3. There is no privacy for senior officers
  4. There is no confidentiality

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Office Layout

  1. The construction cost
  2. The cost of maintenance
  3. Government policy
  4. The level of supervision required
  5. The size of floor space available
  6. The level of confidentiality and privacy required


Office Equipment

  • These are facilities used in an office to make work easier and efficient.

Functions (Advantages) of Office Equipment

  1. They speed up and simplify work hence saving time and cost
  2. They enhance neatness and accuracy in the office
  3. They ensure security of documents and other valuables
  4. They provide a comfortable working environment

Types of Office Equipment and Their Uses

Type of office Machines used Uses of the machine
General office Guillotine
Paper punch
Stapling machine
Staple remover
• Trims documents into required sizes
• Makes holes in papers to be filed
• Pins papers together
• Removes pins from papers
Mail room Folding machine
Franking machine
Addressing machine
Sorting machine
Letter opener
composite
• Folds letter and seals envelopes
• Prints postage impressions on envelopes
• Prints addresses on mails
• Sorts letters
• Opens letters
• Folds documents, places them in envelopes and seals the envelope
Typing room Typewriter
Dictating machine (Dictaphone)
Paper shredders
Duplicating machine
• Used for typing
• Makes shorthand dictations and recording information on tapes
• Cuts unwanted documents into tiny pieces to avoid such documents getting into wrong hands
• Reproduces documents from a master copy
Communication Telephone
Tele-printer (telex machine)
Facsimile (fax machine)
• Used to send and receive messages
• Prints telexed messages
• Transmits printed messages
Duplicating Photocopier
Printing machine
Stencil duplicator
• Reproduces documents
Accounts Adding machine
Cash register
Calculating machine(calculators)
Accounting machine
Computer
Money counting machine
• Adds and subtracts figure
• Prepares cash receipts
• Does calculations
• Posts information to ledgers and prepares payrolls
• Record and stores information
• Counts coins and notes

Other Equipment

  1. Chairs, desks, tables and stools
  2. Filing cabinet: used for storing documents safely
  3. Safe: this is a strong metal box or cupboard that is used to store valuables
  4. Trays: this is a flat piece of wood, metal or plastic that is used to keep incoming or outgoing documents temporarily.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Office Equipment

  1. Cost
    - Refers to the initial, maintenance and running costs. An affordable equipment which is cheaper to maintain should be chosen
  2. Adaptability
    - This is the ability of the equipment to cope with future changes and development. A highly adaptable equipment should be selected
  3. Possibility of hiring rather than buying
    - One has to consider the cost and convenience of buying an equipment as opposed to hiring. A cheaper option should therefore be chosen
  4. Durable
    - This refers to the lifespan of the equipment. One should always go for a more durable equipment
  5. Effect on staff morale
    - This refers to the attitude of staff towards the equipment. The equipment selected should not have a negative effect on the morale of office staff
  6. Availability of complementary resources
    - Complementary resources are the accessories required in order to operate the equipment e.g. power. One has to consider whether the spare parts of the equipment will be readily available or not.
  7. Availability of manpower
    - Manpower refers to the personnel required to operate the equipment. One should choose an equipment which is easy to operate or an equipment which personnel to operate it are easily available
  8. Availability of room
    - One has to consider whether space or room for keeping the equipment is available or not.
  9. Security of the equipment
    - One has to consider whether the available resources are adequate to offer enough security for the equipment or not.

Advantages of Office Machines

  1. They are labour saving because they reduce the number of office staff
  2. They do work faster hence saving time
  3. They are accurate
  4. Their products are of high quality
  5. They help in reducing cases of fraud since they may be programmed to record transactions as they occur
  6. They may ensure uniformity since they may be programmed to produce uniform outputs
  7. They reduce monotony which is created by doing the same work repeatedly
  8. They reduce the cost of production

Disadvantages of Office Machines

  1. Initial and maintenance cost may be high
  2. Breakdowns of machines may lead to stoppage of production
  3. They contribute to unemployment since they reduce the number of office staff required
  4. They may become outdated due to advancement in technology hence becoming useless
  5. Some machines trained personnel in order to be operated. Such trained personnel may not be available or they be expensive to acquire
  6. Some machines may require special stationery and other materials for them to operate. Such materials and stationery may be expensive to acquire.
  7. Carelessness of office staff may result in misuse of machines leading to losses

Reasons (Circumstances) for Replacing an Old Office Machine

  1. Where there is need to improve the image of the business organisation
  2. Where the old machine is not capable of performing multiple functions
  3. The old machine has become out-dated
  4. Where a faster machine is required


Office Staff

  • Office staff refers to a team of employees who work to achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Office staff can be classified into three:
    • Managerial staff
    • Junior staff
    • Subordinate staff

Managerial Staff

  • These are officers who are responsible for:
    • Formulating the organization’s policies
    • Implementing organization’s policies
    • Supervising the activities of the organization
  • Managerial staff forms the management team in an organization
  • Examples of managerial staff include the general manager, production manager, finance manager, company secretary etc.

Qualities of an Office Manager

  1. Must have clear and achievable objectives
  2. Should be tolerant, firm, polite and courteous
  3. Should be consistent in decision making
  4. Should be sociable
  5. Able to delegate duties
  6. Should be concerned with members’ welfare
  7. Should be knowledgeable
  8. Should be appreciative
  9. Should be fair in judgement
  10. Should be a good communicator

Junior Staff

  • These are employees who carry out the activities of the organization as assigned to them by the management. They may be skilled or unskilled.
  • Examples of junior staff include accounts clerks, secretaries and sales persons.

Subordinate Staff

  • These are unskilled employees who perform non-specified duties such as cleaning, serving tea, delivering messages etc.

Duties of Various Office Staff

  1. General manager
    - This is a senior employee in the organization whose duties include:
    • Controlling all the activities of the organisation
    • Co-ordinating all the activities of the organization to ensure that all departments are working harmoniously towards common goals
    • Being responsible for staffing
    • Provision of resources required in the organization
    • Advising the owners on matters relating to the organization
    • Planning the work and time schedule in the organization
  2. Company secretary
    - This is a senior employee whose duties include:
    • Being responsible for legal matters of a company hence he/she is the company’s legal advisor
    • Taking down minutes during general meetings
  3. Departmental managers
    - These are employees who are responsible for running and controlling the affairs of their individual departments. They include production manager, sales, manager, finance manager, personnel manager etc.
    - In particular, the duties of a finance manager (officer) include:
    • Keeping books of account
    • Collecting, banking and making payments on behalf of the organization
    • Making financial returns to the general manager
    • Preparing financial statements
    • Preparing payrolls and budgets
  4. Personal secretary
    - This is a senior employee who is mostly attached to a more senior officer in an organization such as the general manager.
    - Duties of a personal secretary include:
    • Filing information for the boss
    • Attending meetings and taking minutes
    • Supervising junior secretarial staff
    • Receiving and making telephone calls for the boss
    • Taking dictation from the boss
    • Making travel arrangements and booking hotels for the boss
    • Keeping the petty cashbook
  5. Typist
    - This is a junior employee who is usually in the typing room. Some of the duties of a typist include:
    • Typing information from original documents
    • Filing documents
    • Reproduction of documents through photocopying or duplicating.
  6. Clerk
    - This is a junior employee who does routine jobs. Duties of a clerk include:
    • Handling mails
    • Duplicating documents
    • Indexing and filing
    • Helps in store-keeping or record keeping
    • Ordering, receiving, storing and issuing of stationery
    • Operating various office machines
  7. Telephone operator
    - This is a junior employee who runs a switchboard. A switchboard is an equipment on which telephone calls are received and directed to the relevant officers
  8. Office messenger
    - This is a subordinate employee who performs unskilled office duties such as collection and delivery of mails
  9. Receptionist
    - This is a junior officer in the organization whose duties include:
    • Supervision of messengers
    • Receiving sand directing visitors to their respective destinations within the organization
    • Taking and passing of messages
    • Making, renewing and cancelling appointments
    • Keeping visitors’ record book

Essential Qualities of Office Staff

- These are those qualities that a worker is expected to have for him/her to perform his/her duties more efficiently.
- Qualities of office staff may be classified into three:

  1. Personal attributes
  2. Office etiquette
  3. Personal knowledge and skills

Personal Attributes

- Refers to general appearance of a person. They include the following:

  1. Good physical appearance i.e. good dressing style, moderate hair cut styles, non-excessive use of make-ups.
  2. Good hygiene
  3. Good posture i.e. appropriate walking, sitting and talking styles
  4. Good moral behaviour
  5. Good health and physical fitness

Office Etiquette

- Refers to prescribed or the accepted code of behaviour in an office. They include:

  1. Respect: refers to showing regard to other people according to their rank in the organization, their age and social status
  2. Punctuality: the ability to keep time
  3. Courtesy: handling people politely, pleasantly and with consideration
  4. Loyalty: commitment to the employer
  5. Honesty: ability to tell the truth
  6. Co-operation: ability to work with others comfortably
  7. Diplomacy: the ability to convince others tactfully
  8. Judgement: ability to make a ruling after considering all possibilities
  9. Accuracy: performing duties with excellence, precision and correctness
  10. Initiative: ability to create and implement ideas

Ways of Improving Office Eiquette

  1. Show courtesy to both friends and visitors
  2. Be organised at work at all times
  3. Be honest and truthful in performing duties
  4. Co-operate with workers, visitors and management
  5. Be punctual
  6. Be loyal
  7. Be diplomatic
  8. Be accurate
  9. Be initiative
  10. Be judgemental.

Personal Knowledge and Skills

  1. Knowledge: refers to the relevant academic and professional qualification and experience that enables the worker to perform his/duties efficiently
  2. Skills: refers to capabilities which are usually acquired through training and practice that enables an employee to perform his/her duties more efficiently.
    - On knowledge and skills, office staff should have the following qualities
    • Be literate
    • Have attained the minimum academic qualifications
    • Have professional training in a particular field
    • Have relevant work experience
    • Be skilled in the performance of duties

Problems Caused by Workers with Poor Qualities in the Office

  1. Other workers may copy the bad habits
  2. The organisation may incur high costs due to absence of the worker
  3. Contributes to reduction in production
  4. Contributes to reduction in morals
  5. Creates indiscipline among workers


Computers in the Office

- A computer is an electronic device that is used for processing data, storing information and for communication purposes

Uses of a Computer

  1. Data storage and stock control
  2. Processing accounting transactions, preparing ledgers and payrolls
  3. It is used for communication purposes
  4. It can store information relating to members of staff
  5. Electronic filing
  6. Word processing

 

 

Advantages of Using Computers

  1. It economises on space and material
  2. It is faster
  3. Its output is presentable
  4. It can store a large volume of information
  5. It facilities communication i.e. through E-mail.
  6. It is accurate

Disadvantages of Computers

  1. Contributes to unemployment since it replaces human labour
  2. Discourages innovation
  3. Creates monotony and boredom brought about by using the same machine always
  4. Requires a back-up storage system which is an extra cost
  5. Requires skilled manpower
  6. Confidential information stored in computers may be accessed by unauthorised persons
  7. Initial acquisition cost is high
  8. Requires electricity
  9. Can be attacked by computer viruses
  10. It is subject to a lot of technological changes

Uses of Computers in Communication

  1. Internet
    - Internet refers to the interconnection of many computers in the world thereby facilitating the flow of information from one place to another. Information is sent in the form of E-mail (electronic mail)
  2. Intranet (innet)
    - Refers to the inner connection of computers within a small geographical area e.g. within a school
  3. Extranet
    - This the interconnection of computers to facilitate communication between the organization and selected persons.
    - Access to extranet requires the use of a password because it is not meant for use by everyone
  4. Website
    - This is a virtue location in the internet where information can be posted for other parties to access e.g. olx.
  5. E-commerce
    - Refers to carrying out trading through the internet e.g. through olx.

It has the following advantages

  1. Facilitates access to a large market
  2. Creates a conducive environment for large and small business to conduct transactions without discrimination
  3. It is a faster way of doing business as it facilitates urgent transactions
  4. Reduces paperwork since dealings are done online
  5. Reduces the cost of sending, receiving and storing information
  6. Enables one to access important information that will enable him/her improve the running of his/her business
  7. Tele-conferencing
    - Refers to holding a conference through the computer. It is used when participants are located in different areas

Advantages of internet, intranet, website, extranet and e-commerce 
(Advantages of using computers in communication)

  1. They are fast
  2. Relatively cheaper
  3. Convenient since information is readily available
  4. Facilitates storage of information for future use


Disadvantages of internet, intranet, website, extranet and e-commerce
(disadvantages of using computers in communication)

  1. High initial cost
  2. Maintenance cost is high
  3. Requires trained personnel
  4. Computers suffer from occasional break-ups e.g. virus attacks
  5. Computers are prone to misuse
  6. Computers require electricity to operate


Trends in Office Management

- This refers to the current changes in office management. These trends are discussed below:

  1. Use of computers
    - A computer is an electronic device which is used for processing data, storing information and for communication purposes
  2. Office arrangement
    - Office layout is shifting from an enclosed office layout to open or landscape office layout in order to ensure workers are properly supervised.
  3. Introduction of public relations department
    - The need for customers’ satisfaction has seen the introduction of a customer care department in most organization. This department handles all the concerns of customers in order to ensure customers are satisfied
  4. Use of mobile (cell) phones
    - Use of mobile phones for communication has replaced the use of landlines.
  5. Change in office location
    - Most organizations are now locating their offices in sub-urban areas. This is in their efforts to avoid many problems associated with locating the office in urban areas. Such problems include heavy traffic jams, lacking of parking space, high running costs etc.
    - Offices located in sub-urban areas are accessible hence convenient for both the customers and the business owners.
  6. Change in procedure and routines
    - Outdated procedures and routines that were used in traditional offices are now being replaced with modern procedures and routine. For example through the use of machines such as computers, managers are now able to handle tasks that were previously delegated to junior staff.

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