THE IMPACT OF OFFICE ENVIRONMENT ON OFFICE PROFESSIONALS ( A SURVEY OF SOME SELECTED ORGANIZATIONS IN ENUGU)
Background of the Study
Contemporary dictionary defines environment as all the surrounding condition, which influence growth and development. Environment can also be defined as the external and internal surrounding of an office as it affects a secretary. According to Rwuaan (2010), an office is a building where clerical work is done, where information is received, conveyed, recorded processed and safeguard. An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it (see office, office holder, official), the latter is an fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of oneâ€™s duty.
An office is an architectural and design phenomenon and a social phenomenon, whether it is a small office such as a bench in the corner of a â€œmom and pop shopâ€ of extremely small size (see small office home office) through entire floors of buildings up to and including massive building dedicated entirely to one company. In modern terms an office usually refers to the location where white-collar workers are employed.
Productivity has been generally defined as a ration of a measure of output to a measure of some or all of the resources used to produces these output. In this way, one or a number of input measures can be taken and compared with one or a number of output measure. When attempt is made to include all inputs and all output in a system, the measure is called a Total Productivity Measure (TPM) Palik (2006) explains in his what that the input used in a process can be hour of labour, unit of capital and qualities of raw materials compared with the consequent output.
History has it that the background of office professional dates back to the days when ancient office professionals who were then called secretaries worked under the primitive circle of office surroundings. Despite the fact that the importance of the early office professionals was realized when the need for keeping, retrieving and safeguarding confidential matters were needed. At that time, the duties and responsibilities of office professionals was of much importance in terms of job satisfaction the office profession. The duties and responsibilities of office professional involves providing services relating to processing, documenting and disseminating information, (Smith, 2008).
Today, the duties and responsibilities of office professional in organization are very important that no organization can survive without this class of workers. They are so important that the ill conceived idea of the federal Government to right size and down size these class of worker caused great set back in the discharge of office function which made it imperative for all affected office professional to be recalled back to their duties (BPSR, 2008).
The function of office professionals in organizations have formed part of the cardinal roles stated in available literatures. In consonance with the views expressed above. Omotosho (1990) states that no business activity succeeds without an efficient office professional. The office professional copes with all demands and stresses of the office in the way that he enjoys leadership control of crisis that might emanate from managing records, people communication, information and other resources that are instinctively involved in making an office.
In most office today, two types of office professionals are recognized and these are the personal or private and confidential. For the purpose of updating the duties and responsibilities of office professionals, MTU in Madelyn and Urwin (1980( defined office professionals as one in charge of typesetting, recording and keeping vital or confidential document of an organization that some executives may not be allowed access to; while the private office professional is one who employed to assist a member of staff at top level by undertaking some of his routine work and ensuring the smooth running of the office.
Ceik and forti (2009) state that the duties of office professional in organization includes organizing, coordinating and implementing delicious for the day to day running of the organization. Azuonge (2007) says executives in most organization are ignorant of the vital roles performed by office professional for the growth of an organization as such these class of worker are seen with little or no respect as clerksÂ and mail runners by this officers. To achieve any set objective by an organization in a work place, it require the complete efforts of a team work. The office professional being part of this team plays an important and essential function in bringing about the desired success in every organization, irrespective of services it renders to the general public. Jeffrey and Kevin, (2001) state that in this age of globalization, characterized by computer and other office technology, as well as sophisticated nature of office dealings, the duties and function of office professionals in achieving organizational goals cannot be over emphasized.
Njoku (2003) opines that the duties of office professionals vary and are often unspecified. However, the duties and function of office professionals and the expectations of an employer. These duties include taking down notes from the speech of the boss and producing a mail able copy out of it, performing reception duties involving public relations, clerical duties involving replying to correspondence, filling operations, records management, other unspecified function such as booking flights and accommodation, running specialized errands etc.
He adds that the functions of the office professionals are ever expanding rapidly. However, the proper performance of duties by office professional is a reliable avenue for the image making profiles such office professional work with. It is with this in mind that the research work is being carried out to identify the duties and responsibilities of office professionals in Kaduna polytechnic.
Statement of the Problem
The office environment is a determining factor to office professionals performance and productivity but this has not been achieved in modern day office as a result of the following problems such as inadequate of modern office equipments, poor human relations, physical environmental factors and poor remuneration of office professionals, all these factors contribute to low performance of office professionals. It is not uncommon to find some organizations still subjecting office professional to the use of manual typewriters. When office professional are not provided with efficient and effective working tools, productivity is definitely bound to be low.
It is equally agreed that some office professionals find it difficult to get along with their work as a result of un-conducive environment in the office. this brings about other tendencies among with include the inability to control staff under her or not giving proper attention to visitors in the officeÂ Â Â Â .Overcrowding and of clean office or environment especially in the office professionalâ€™s office seriously have impacts in the productivity of the office professional
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study was to examine the impact of office environment on the productivity of office professional. But in specific terms, the study was under taken to:
- find out the types of modern office machines require for office professionals productivity.
- determine the physical environmental factors that lead to the attainment of the organizational objectives
- to find out how adequate remuneration of office professional improve office productivity in an organization.
- to find out how human relation skills increase office professional productivity.
The following research questions and hypotheses were posed and formulated for the study:
- What are the types of office equipment require for office professionals productivity
- What are the physical environmental factors that lead to the attainment of organizational objectives
- How does human relations skills influence office professional productivity in an organization
- How does remuneration influence office professional productivity in an organization.
Significance of the Study
The significance of this research can never be over emphasized. It is only conducted to identify, the importance of office environment on a office professions, the study will be of immense importance for the following:
Office Profession: Office professional as an individual who oversees the running of an organization, plan coordinate and oversees various organizational function which are performed by the other employee of the company.
Future References: To service as a source of information for future researchers who which to gather useful data pertaining to office profession.
Organizations: To educate the organizations so that they can provide conducive environment to secretaries work.
Scope of the Study
The study concentrated on the internal segments of the office profession in order to determine the level of influence it on the performance of the office profession. The scope of this study also cover executives and office profession.
Limitation of the Study
The researcher intended to provide as much material as possible with respect to the topic under study, but a lot of limitation prevented him from doing so. Time proved to be a major limitation in the conduct of this research topic. The problem was the combining of attendance of lecturers and sourcing for data to writ the project.
Financial constraints also posed a problem in the data collection during the course of survey research, as the research did not have enough money to make calls on the respondents for data/
Definition of Terms
Impact: Change produced by an action or cause, it may be negative or positive
Office: Literally speaking an office is any given place where information is received, sorted, recorded, rearranged, retrieved and kept for future reference.
Environment: This relates to the physical condition in the working place of the secretary.
Organization: Organization is the rational co-ordination of the activities of a number of people for achievement of some common explicit purpose or goal, through division of labour.
Secretary: A secretary is defined as a keeper of secrets or any persons employed by another person, society, enterprise, organization or co-operationÂ for the purpose of conducting correspondence, keeping business records and transacting other business.
Executive: Person in business organization with administrative or managerial skills.
Colleagues: Persons with whom one work within the office or organization