To do office work, persons are required. These persons can work through forms and equipment. Therefore, three factors-persons, forms and equipment are involved in office work. An office has its own systems through which the work is carried out. System means a pre-planned approach to the day-to-day work to attain the aimed goal. A firm operates through systems. Again system indicates that right persons should be chosen for particular jobs.

There may be specific systems for office work, viz., filing system, mailing system, purchasing system, etc. Filing system indicates the systematic maintenance (preservation) of documents, reports, etc. After looking up a paper it is filed in the proper file and kept in the proper place.

All these jobs can be called as operations by persons. That is, before a paper is filed, operation takes place; that is finding out the proper file, checking the code of the file, tallying with the code mentioned in the paper to be filed, filing it date wise, keeping it in the place where it was, etc., are to be performed.

These are the operations, whereas system refers to the filing of papers alone. Therefore system is broad division of work, and operations are within the system or comprising it.


For example, when a mail is received, operation involves opening the letters, stamping them, dating them, registering them, giving them to the concerned departments, etc. The book-keeper also operates and finds the balance.

According to Zene K. Quible, “A system represents inter-related procedures necessary to achieve a well-designed goal.” Each system is composed of a number of procedures. Procedures or routines or operations may be called the steps in a system.

According to Terry. “A system is a network of procedures which are integrated and designed to carry out a major activity.”

According to Carl Heyel, “A system is an orderly arrangement of inter-dependent activities and related procedures which implements and facilitates the performance of a major activity of an organization.”


The definitions given above made clear that an office system is a standard sequence of operations in a particular business activity and is concerned how these operations are performed as well as when and where they are performed.

In the specific context of an office, the term ‘system’ means the planned use of office personnel, forms and equipments for the performance of a particular phase of office work. In every office, there is a specific system for each major office activity. For example, the filing system refers to the planned manner of arranging and maintaining office records.

“A system is an organized combination of parts which form a complex entity, with interrelationships or interaction between the parts and between the system and environment.”

A ‘system’ is a broad division or plan of work for the orderly performance of major phase of office activity. ‘Procedures’ or ‘routines’ are the smaller divisions comprising a system. The procedures comprising a system are so planned that every time a particular phase of office activity has to be performed according to the system, the same procedures have to be performed in the same sequence and in the same manner.