To a common man office means a place where some sort of paper work is performed by the clerks on their desks. The above meaning in ordinary sense sounds to be correct but incomplete. So the word office has been defined as a place where proper records for the purpose of control, information and efficient and effective operations are prepared, handled and serviced.” These definitions of office reveal that office is not a specific place but exists anywhere, where certain kinds of works are performed. The modern sense of the term view office as a function rather than a particular place. When office is regarded as a function, it plans, organizes, co-ordinates, standardizes and supervises paper work. It is immaterial wherever it is done and whosoever does it.
The purpose of office is to provide service of communication and records and so office manager is termed as an information manager. The primary functions of an office are receiving information, recording information, arranging information and supplying of information. All these functions are directed for information and so office is regarded as an information centre.
Office is regarded as the control centre of the organization because it helps management in taking decisions and implementing these decisions. It prepares all necessary information and plans for the management to take decisions. It is the place where policy decisions are originated and all activities of the organizations are controlled for the accomplishment of the organizational end. Office is regarded as the control centre of the organization because of the following reasons :
(a) Office acts as a middle man with the customers and outsiders. Office prepares bills, collects them, pays on behalf of the firm and make correspondence with these people.
(b) It is regarded as a centre for personnel function. It recruits personnel and sets standard of performance and compensation.
(c) It is a place where company policy is formed and executed. Because of this reason office is known as locus of company policy.
(d) Office is described as the intelligence centre for co-coordinating vital activities.
(e) It safeguards the assets of the company and as such it is regarded as the overseer of company’s furniture.
(f) Office performs the various management functions like -planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling and co-coordinating. By performing these management functions a proper control is exercised over office activities.
Because of the above reasons it can be concluded that office is an important and indispensable organ of the modern business. It helps the management in planning the operation intelligently, putting plans into their effective application and determine effectiveness promptly and co-ordinate the various activities. Office is the eye of the management through which it looks at all aspects of the business. Because of the importance of office to modern business Prof. Diksee has rightly told that office is to business what mainspring is to the watch.