Office Management: definition, types, process, jobs and best practices

Office management is a profession involving the design, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of the process of work within an office or other organization, in order to sustain and improve efficiency and productivity. It is thus a part of the overall administration of business and since the elements of management are forecasting and planning, organising, command, control and coordination, the office is a part of the total management function.

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 labour 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 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.

There are a variety of office management jobs, however, the basic duties of these managers are quite similar. Besides supervising the smooth running of a company’s administration, making sure that needed supplies are provided and that office equipment is in working order, office managers can sometimes hire, fire, train, and promote employees.

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