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Office Procedures and Methods
Procedures and methods have no substitute for effective performance of office work. Much of the planning work pertaining to office activities rotates around these procedures and methods.


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They provide standardized and definite guides to operation by indicating the way in which office activities should be performed. Procedures deal with a complete task with all its sequential steps or activities

involved, while methods are usually related to the job of an individual and procedures relate to all sequential or integrated jobs required for the completion of a particular phase of work. The key to effective performance of office work lies in correct and accurate planning of procedures and methods.

As a number of operations constitute a single job and a series of jobs is encompassed in a procedure, it is methods study alone that can determine individual office jobs on a scientific basis and can link different jobs in co-ordinate fashion. In the absence of methods study, the work load cannot be assigned to different employees, clerical jobs are bound to be associated with gaps, overlaps or duplications in office activities. As a result, a far greater number of employees will be found busy in working at cross purposes, in setting jurisdictional disputes an in impeding the flow of work rater than facilitating it.

Methods study in all sectional offices is such an important part of the activities of an office manager that he is referred to as “Clerical Methods” Advisor or “Office Method Advisor” in some organisation. Form the study of office methods, the procedures are streched out to their logical consequence. Office work requires numerous forms and documents for making the communication and recording activities more quick, easy and economical in nature. But improved design and format of documents or records are not practicable without the establishment of correct method and procedures. Faulty forms and documents are responsible for unsatisfactory office operation because of communicating or recording partial, incomplete, and in some cases, irrelevant information over a subject matter. That is , the effect of one single communication is likely to be secured by tow or more communications. Furthermore, unnecessary reports and returns are likely to be multiplied.

If procedures and methods are intended to provide guides to office operations, the employees are to be made known and familiar with contents of procedures and methods. With this end in view, “Manual of Office procedures“ is complied for the information and guidance of all office personnel. Usually, procedures manual contains specimens of all forms and documents required for a particular task, the sequential steps involved in the task an the methods to be used for accomplishing the task. The manual makes job-learning easy on the part of new employees, eliminates gaps and overlaps in activities, prevents jurisdictional disputes, removes employee misunderstandings and promotes effective and harmonious working of office personnel. In a large organisation, the manual is generally

complied on the basis of each department or section of the enterprise, and subsequently, all sectional manuals are integrated into a complete whole for reference and co-ordinational purpose. But procedures are prone to become outdated after a certain period, they require periodical revision for ensuring their effective contribution towards high work performance.

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