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7/24/22

what is an office in business studies

 what is an office 

Every organisation, whether government or private sector has a place called a office. It may be a room or a building, which will be the center point of the organizational activities is being carried out. A office may therefore be seen as a place set aside for performing clerical and administrative duties in an business organization.  The type of business performed by the organization by the business organization or the nature of services it provides is used to describe the office. For example, we have the post office.  This is a building set aside for postal activities, u school we have the principal's office, this is a place where administrative functions are carried out, other offices include the the bursars office. Government open tax offices in strategic location for the purpose of collecting taxes from citizens of the state. In every Business organization, there is always the managers office, that is a room or group of rooms where the manager and his staff carry out there administrative duties do the organization. 

An office is very important to an organization.  Information from other places flows into the organization through the office.  Such information may come into the organisations office through letters, telephone, telex, fax message, text messages, email, the internet ,social media etc. Similarly information gets out of the organizations office through the same methods listed above to other organizations. 

what is an Office
office environment 

Qualities of a good office layout 

  • A good offices must be suitably equipped with office machines ,telephone, filling cabinet, stationary, etc. To enable workers perform their duties efficiently 
  • The office should be well laid out to prevent waste of time on unnecessary movement of staff.  There must be adequate working spaces provided for each member of staff in the office 
  • The office should be laid out in such a way as to make possible for work and free flow of information all the levels of staff
  • A good office should have won light and adequate ventilation and the environment should be constantly kept clean and neat. 
  • A good office must allow for easy control and supervision of staff. 


Things usually found in an office 

The following things are usually found in an office either for the use and comfort of the people working in the office or things to help them perform their duties efficiently.  They include tables, chairs,  type writers, computers ,printers ,land phone ,fax machine calculators, scanning machines, franking machines, geographic machines, book shelves, and other things design for work to be carried out in an office. The number of this things depends on the size of the office and the nature of the business being perform in the office. 

Two types of offices

An office can be grouped into two types which includes :
  1. Office types by sizes (small and big offices) 
  2. Office by administrative structure (open and closed offices. 
The two groups are discussed below ;

The small office 

The small office organisation or business usually has a small office with a limited number of staff. In a small offices a person can perform many duties, there is no specialization.  For example, a clerk may be the typist, take telephone calls use the duplicating machine, file letters and run errands. 

A worker is always ready to corporate with others to perform the many duties in a small offices. Working in s small gives one the opportunity of knowing how to do many things. Example of a small office include the principal office, the bursars office, the patent medicine store, the lawyers office around the corner of the business center .


Advantages of a small office 


  • The workers enjoy doing wide variety of duties. 
  • They learn more about the functions of the organizations and can use the Knowledge gained to establish their own businesse in the future 
  • The owner of the business shares closer relationship with the workers and the customers because of his personal involvement in the day to day running of the business. 


Disadvantages of small office

  • A small office CA only take a few things like typewriters, computers and photocopier to aid the workers in doing  their jobs. The employee will go to the business center outside whenever there are needs for him to use any equipment not available in the office. 
  • Payment of wages or salaries will be based on the volume of work performance in the small office therefore the employer only pays his workers what he can afford. 
  • The employer will not be able to provide social and welfare amenities -canteen services, medical services, etc for workers in an small offices 

The large office 

Large business organisations usually need large offices because of the size and scale of their operations .Example of large organizations include the United African company plc, and the first bank of Nigeria others may include OPEC etc. 

These organizations have large offices and are found in big cities around the globe. A large office may be decvided into specialized units called departments. There is specialization for workers in large offices.  For example ,in a large office, there are people who work basically as typist, messengers, accountants, as personnel officers. Workers enjoy teamwork in their respective workplaces and departments.

Advantages of a large office 


  • Employees enjoy teamwork in their respective work places and department.  They also enjoy specialization 
  • A larger office can take different office aids such as computers and printers, photocopier, mobile phones and land phones and filling cabinet to promote efficiency in the office. 
  • A large office can pay it's workers wages and salaries that other companies pay in the industry.
  • It can provide social welfare services staff canteen, medical facilities etc.  For it's workers. 
  • A large office can be devided into functional department such as production, accounts, and administrative department to enhance efficiency in the performance of their duties. 

Disadvantages of a large office 

  • workers have limited experience of other jobs other than the ones they regularly perform. 
  • There is no close relationship between the employer, the employee and their customers because the employer is not involved in the day to day running of the business. 
  • If there is no proper supervision of employees jobs ,there could be problems of miscalculations, fraud and other vices, which may affect the revenue of the company. 

Office types by administrative structure (open and close offices)


The open office :

The open type of office system also used centralised system office.  This is a system of office design, which has a large floor space, but with no dividing wall or portions. The large common room usually referred to the staff room in your school is a good example.  The banking hall where many workers sit and work in the open space is also an example of an open office system. 

This type of office design can also be found in large oil companies, which sit there junior and intermediate staff in large hall to do their work. 

Advantages of open office system 

  • Open office system reduces the chances of corrupt practices of staff and thus promotes accountability in business .
  • It makes control and general supervision of staff easier and encourage staff to be more efficient in their work.
  • It is easy to rearrange the hall for other special occasion such as business meetings and social gatherings. 
  • The workers can jointly use offices facilities such as office machines and telephone, stationary and it will save cost for the organization .
  • Working in an open office saves a lot of time and money as workers have no cause to move from one office to another either to take instructions or to pass information to another staff or even use telephone to collect or pass information. Most of the information they need will be available in there room. 

Disadvantages of the open office system

  • In an open office system, workers don't have privacy to themselves and to the customers who come to them for business discussion. 
  • Because of the number of workers in the open room ,unnecessary movements and noisy telephone discussion may cause interruption and disturbance to other workers. 
  • When office spaces are not properly allocated, it may lead to improper sitting arrangement in the office and thus disturb free movement of workers and information to and from the office 
  • It is not possible to provide personal office facilities such as fans and air conditioning to meet the need of individuals working in an open office .

The closed office

The closed office design is a design in which spaces are partitioned inti rooms separate rooms are allocated to separate individuals or group of workers. In the closed office system the work status of the individual or group of individuals determine the size of the room allocated and the extent of furnishings of the office.  That is, a small and less furnished room will be allocated to a junior office while a senior office will get a bigger and well furnished office.


Advantages of closed office system

  • closed office system encourages workers to do their specialized work effectively e.g. the photocopier operator can do his work in his room which he shares with the typist without cuasing any distractions 
  • It gives privacy to workers in their rooms and provides them with the opportunity to discuss confidential and important matters with other concern people.
  • It provides the opportunity to give the office equipment, fans, air conditioning etc.  to the individual worker or group of workers according to their needs.
  • closed office system guarantees the security of such equipment which is allocated to specific rooms because the workers who occupies the room are responsible for the security of the property. 
  • It does not give room for noise making in the office.

 Disadvantages of closed office system


  • closed office system does not allow for effective supervision of each worker or group in separate rooms as in the case of open office system where a supervisor can see all the workers at a glance. 
  • Movement of workers from one room to another for one thing or the other may prevent the smooth flow of work and cause delay in achieving the organizational goals. 
  • Provision of office equipment and other facilities such as telephone, standing fans, etc.  In each room will not be possible to get information out of his room for the use of the organization because he will lock up the room for security purposes.

Functions of an office 

Both large and small office perform important functions in the organizations that established them and to the members of the public that associate with the organization.  The functions they perform are very similar and they include the following; 

Receiving information from internal and external sources; 

An office receives information internal and external sources . That is, from the different unit (department ) of the organization,and from external source therefore from other organizations or individuals who have association with the organization. 
The information received in an organization always come in two forms which is written and verbal information. 

Processing of information received for use; 

The office treats all information received both from within and from outside cautiously . The clerk in charge will sort them according to the purpose of each piece of information.  He closely examines all the information received and take necessary actions according to the set rules of the organization.

Recording of information received; 

The office has to keep accurate records of the information received in a permanent form for future use. Any information received in an office has to be recorded with dates before sending it to the individuals or different departments where it is needed.  Proper recording of information in an organization is important because it can be referred to or recalled in future for making business reports or business policies. 

Protecting and safeguarding information and assets; 

The office is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the information received and recorded.  It must also ensure that the information remains confidential in its records. Every incoming and out going information recorded in the office must have a copy in the relevant file, which must be protected for future reference . The office must protect all important documents in the file cabinet.  Email and other internet information must be retained in their respective files in the computer and saved.  The office must ensure that no information is leaked to persons not connected with the information. It must take care of cash, cheques, stocks, etc.  That belong to the organization. 

Attending to visitors,  customers and callers ;

It is the duty of the office to attend to numerous visitors and callers to the organization. The callers may be visitors who comes to make enquires about purchase arrangement or sales of raw materials to the organization or who may call to see some people for important personal reasons in the organization. The office has to direct each visitor or caller to the appropriate units, individual or department of the organization. If it is a phone call ,email etc, the office  must direct them to the appropriate place. 

The office is the first point of call in an organization; it must be cautious, tactful and cheerful in performing it'd functions. 

In conclusion An office is a room or building where people work, usually in an administrative capacity. Offices are usually found in business or institutional settings, and they can be either private or public. Private offices are usually found within homes, while public offices are typically found in government buildings or commercial settings.

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