Flow of work refers to the continuous movement of work from one operation to another, The office work must flow smoothly, steadily and constantly without any interruption. Thus it is concerned with the way work moves along from one operation to another. A steady flow of work results in high degree of efficiency and if the flow of work is obstructed it will result wasting of time and inefficiency to the firm. Flow of work involves logical and systematic sequence of operations with minimum backward movement. The flow of work should be straight line flow of work and it should not be backward movement or side movement. All the sequences of operation must be planned and scheduled for the attainment of the organization end.
Obstacles In the flow of work : The following factors cause obstacles in the way of proper flow of work and therefore due care will be taken to avoid these obstacles.
1. Fluctuating Volume of Work
Steady flow of work is obstructed due to fluctuation of work. Office work is highly subject to peaks and valleys because it originates outside of the office. For instance, receipt of more sales order in a day may change the work. Fluctuation in the volume of work due to external factors are beyond the control of the management. Sometimes fluctuation in work is found due to internal causes like understanding in a department, and unequal distribution of work among the employees.
2. Defective Planning
Defective planning and scheduling create obstacle in the path of smooth flow of work. When planning is defective, work flow will be done in a haphazard manner and important works are done later than unimportant works.
3. Lack of Standards
The workload will be standardized and there should be equal distribution of work among the workers.
4. Defective Supervision
The work will be delayed if there is no proper supervision of work. Work without proper supervision will move in a unplanned way.
5. Faulty Layout
When there is no scientific and planned arrangement of placing the staff, equipment and the machinery, it is called a faulty layout plan. If the layout is not planned properly the work will pass through wrong and unnecessary points.
6. Absence of Employees
The flow of work is interrupted when sufficient number of employees are not appointed.
7. No Steady Supply of Raw Material
Steady and continuous’ supply of raw-material will cause a smooth flow of work. The above difficulties of flow of work can be removed by preparing a flow of work chart. The common flow of work charts are office layout charts, flow process chart, operation chart and management type flow charts.