Every organisation or company has an environment setup for carrying out various functions which are managed by a set of people or group of people. There is no organisation existing without an office where the administrative duties and functions are carried out.
A person has to apply for leave has to undergo a cycle of the process, or some employee is faced with a payroll issue has to meet the human resource, or CEO of the company needs a confidential data requests the secretary to retrieve them. All these functions are carried out through office administration.
What is Office Administration?
A set of day to day activities related to financial planning, maintaining personnel records, processing of payroll, record keeping, maintaining files, billing, distribution of data, logistics are part of office administration
It can be said as overseeing those day to day functions or operations in an office or managing the people working in the office. It involves the main task of ensuring that resources are available for smooth functioning like coordinating repairs of office equipment required for work, submitting requests for the new resource.
Most of the times, the administration is associated with maintaining office supplies like stationery items, printer cartridges, papers, that are constantly used within the budget provided. Persons who are dealing with office administration works have to face few advantages and disadvantages of organising things.
Administrative Functions of an Office:
A company sets goals and objectives to achieve the targets.There are certain steps or roles played to reach the goals. In other words, we can say that it’s a roadmap to reach a destination.
These are set of functions that are broken down to indicate what to do when to do, how to do, and who should do them. The organisation lays down a map showing the path from where the company is to where it has to be. For this goals are established and arranged in order for various activities to be carried out. Facilitators are the administrators who engage in short termed goals and long termed goals.
Once the goals are given, then there is a need on how to get it done. There is a need to identify the responsibilities that need to be taken care of and which section or departments should be involved.
Grouping these functions is also required to maintain an organizational relationship. Why does co-ordination have to happen? Otherwise, none of the work would be accomplished if everyone works in islands. Therefore all the people in various sections are linked with one another to achieve. Administrative activities like delegation of authority, control measures are necessary for bringing out successful work.
3. Filling in people:
It is known that all jobs are being split to specialisations to bring about best results. To fill these posts requires people. Administrative functions are involved in filling the right people at the right time. The needs of the functions required are determined and job descriptions are written. Based on those, advertisements are displayed seeking people. The screening is the last process of selecting the right candidate.
This requires directing the people in the right manner to achieve the goals of the organisation. Through the proper allocation of resources and providing an effective system, a balance is created between the needs and economic production that leads to the goals of the organisation. The administrative officer here would need exceptional interpersonal skills to fulfil these criteria.
Without evaluation, no one would know if organisations plans are achieved. The staff performance is being evaluated time to time to see if there is a quality of work always. It also hints whether there is a deviation from the actual targets.
Controlling is one way of ensuring high-quality performance and results that are satisfactory while maintaining a problem free environment. These activities are basically constituting of management of information, performance measurement and establishing corrective actions.
As it is the backbone of the organisation, administrative functions are critical as it is associated with the efficiency and productivity of the organisation.
Benefits of Office Administration:
Office administration involves overseeing of functions within every department and coordinate activities to see that work does not get stopped. There are certain benefits like
1. Good organisational skills:
This skill gets developed during the course of work. As the person has to manage all the department functions they need to be focused and know which project is important. This functionality requires one to manage time, manage the people within the team, bring in focus with the goals and keep information organised. This quality gets more enhanced that can lead to successful career growth.
2. Fast and efficient:
As the administrator function requires one to gather information, organise them and keep in an orderly manner, they always see that their desks are clutter free. This helps them indirectly to perform their work, fast and efficient.
The administrative functions require one to have the information right at the moment required for. This quality is more visible in people who perform these administrative functions.
3. Detail oriented:
As information about all work and people are gathered by this function, they have a tendency to put in more details along with it. Depending on the type of organisation and business, information is collected from various sources to bring in co-ordination within each section. This quality of working with details pushes the administrative function to be detail oriented whenever required to.
4. Prioritise tasks:
Job descriptions are broken down into individual tasks to every function. But for administrative function, every task is important for the day. Depending on the importance or severity of the responsibility, the tasks are prioritised.
The person carrying out this function would know which task to prioritise depending on the importance. The person handling this role learns which task is important depending on the situation.
5. Work autonomously:
There are certain activities in a department that need involvement of all the different functionalities or certain product cannot be manufactured without the involvement of ‘x’ people. But administrative personnel is mostly handling functions single handed and manages to carry them out. Their functions demand to work independently and in due course learn to work autonomously. As they are most of the times closely associated with managers, they need to work alone.
6. Good communications skills:
Having to work in coordination with various sections of the organisation or with global associations, this function requires a person to have good communication skills. These people know what to say and when. Their communication needs to be good and they are known to maintain that.
7. Good tolerance:
As they have to deal with wide range of people from managers to supervisors or next levels, these administrators would be subjected to pacifying conflicts between departments or act as mediators between people. There could be instances when they would hear the unwanted.
The level of tolerance is greatly enhanced as this function also has to keep the word or maintain the confidentiality of the managers.
8. Positive in approach:
The administrative functions are to carry forward the goals of the company through an assignment of tasks. They have to motivate the people to get the work completed. Motivation can only be achieved if the person is positive in his/her approach. Their role here fosters positive approach in all walks of life.
The function of administration allows a person to be flexible as they know that all work or assignments cannot be done as determined. There could be some hitches or problems arising.
Managing people is one part of it. But the administrator itself knows how each section performs and allows tolerance factor. Further, this also helps in maintaining a friendly relation with the entire staff and they feel comfortable enough to talk things through.
As the word itself clears, the administration functions have a lot of tasks on their table. Besides as they are co-ordination between each section, they would be helping out one section while another section would put out a query. Their functions range from filing the documents, providing administrative support, arrange travel, answer phone calls, enter data, sort the mail, send a communication, to organising events, organising meetings, manage appointments, manage invoicing and payroll, maintain office equipment and supplies, submits reports. They have to be skilled in IT to handle the various functions.
Based on all the functions given above, the role played gives more importance in the eyes of the management. There is a wide variety of industries who would be interested in getting people with this experience.
Disadvantages of Office Administration:
Office administration includes a variety of tasks and overseeing them is quite a handful of duty. The tasks are of course very important and are to be handled on daily basis. But just like ‘every coin has two sides’ similarly, along with the benefits accompanies the disadvantage of office administration.
1. Piled tasks:
It is quite a job to manage. Office administration requires various task completions on daily basis without fail. It requires various office administration skills to perform each task and look into for details and any required corrections.
Multi-tasking is an urgent requisition and on an everyday schedule. A break, no matter how mandatory it is, is impossible due to various important tasks residing on the shoulders.
2. Patience beyond limits:
This job requires patience to a large extend. It teaches you being flexible and tolerating all the glitches in tasks, but at the same time coordinating and managing people can be very exhausting. On the regular basis, it could be a lot of stress filled task to conduct.
3. Work v\s pay:
Multitasking or not, the pay is always minimum when you compare a number of tasks to be taken care of daily. Due to a lot of competition for the position of an office administration executive, there are more options available to choose from and thus, minimum pay is what you have in hand. Further, the workload is never any lesser.
4. Motivational burden:
As an administrator of the office, it is a sole duty of the person to motivate the entire staff in different departments in order to get all the work done on time. A positive approach at all times is easier said than done.
To continuously maintain a proper work and tackle all kind of obstacles can take a toll on anyone. If only one is confident and can organise the entire work along with the personal life then only it is an advisable job. It requires dedication and priority towards work.
5. Working independently:
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Working autonomously is a blessing to all, but as it is said boon and bane come along together. Similarly, working independently brings certain responsibilities as well as restrictions.
As a manager, one needs to look into all kind of works and that certainly comes with restrictions. Single handed working can be a delicious task. Unless balanced well, this job can certainly lessen the required personal time.
6. Steps and processes:
Steps and processes can be a great hassle and maintaining the process and system is another big hassle to deal with. At times this brings a lot of stress and burden along with it. Again this task brings a single handed description and with that being said it is another complex thing to take care of. Processes are made to simplify the tasks for people. But to maintain the system is the work of the administration.
Boon and bane, pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages are ‘deeply in love’ companions. They always appear together in all aspects of life regardless of the subject matter it belongs to. Similarly, office administrative department has varieties of advantages and disadvantages.
Budget maintaining and managing within the budget comes under the job description of the administrating person. Along with it comes the responsibility of updating the resource related information on the daily base. Thus, the job of administrating brings various tasks, duties and responsibilities. It requires skills to keep up with everything and so unless and until all the required skills are not obtained one simply cannot run a successful administration office.