Business Studies, JSS 1,

Topic: The Office


  • An Office
  • Types of office
  • Office types by administrative structure
  •  Functions of an office
  • A good office layout

An Office is generally a room or other area where administrative work is done. An office can also be defined as a place set aside for performing clerical and administrative duties in an organization.

Every organization, whether government or private has a place called an office, it could be a room or a whole building. An office is very important in any organization.

Types of Office

An office can be grouped into two types;

  1. Office types by sizes ———small and large office
  2. Office types by administrative structure——- open and closed offices

The Small office: The small office usually has a limited number of staff because it is always owned by small organization or businesses. In a small office there is no specialization, a person can perform many duties in the same office.

Advantages of a Small Office

  • They learn more about the functions of the organization and can use the knowledge gained to establish their own business in the future
  • The owner of the business shares closer relationship with their worker and customers
  • The workers enjoy doing a wide variety of duties

Disadvantages of a Small Office

  • The employer will not be able to provide social and welfare amenities like medical services, allowances for workers
  • A small office can only take a few things like type writers, computers and photocopiers
  • The payment of wages and salaries will be based on the volume of work performed in the small office.

The Large Office

Large business organizations usually need large offices because of the size and scale of their operations. A large office can be divided into specialized units called departments. There is specialization for workers in large offices because people do different things.

Advantages of Large Office

  • It can provide social and welfare services like staff canteen, medical facilities etc for its worker
  • Employees enjoy teamwork in their respective work places and department
  • A large office can be divided into functional department
  • A large office can pay its workers wages/salaries that other companies pay in their industry

Disadvantages of Large Office

  • Improper management or supervision, there could be problems of miscalculations, fraud and ot
  • There is no close relationship between employers, workers and their customers
  • her vices.
  • Workers are limited to what they do everyday unlike the small office where the worker does so many things.

Office types by Administrative Structure

Open Office System: This is also called centralized office system; it is design in such a way that it is a large floor space with no dividing walls or partitions. Examples of an open office system is a banking hall, staff rooms

Advantages of Open Office System

  • It is easy to rearrange the hall for other special occasions such as business meetings and social gatherings
  • Open office system reduces the chance of corrupt practices of staff and thus promotes accountability in business
  • Working in an open office saves a lot of time and money as workers have no need to move from one office to another to pass information or get information.
  • It makes general supervision of staffs easier and encourages workers to be more efficient in their duties.
  • It helps to reduce the chances of corrupt practices of staff.

Disadvantages of Open Office System

  • There is no privacy for workers
  • There is high level of distractions
  • No access to personal office facilities
  • There is tendency for improper sitting arrangement

The Closed Office System

This is the situation where spaces are partitioned into rooms and separate rooms allocated to individual staff or group of workers

Advantages of Closed office system

  • It provides opportunity for office equipment
  • It guarantees the security of the office equipment
  • It does not give room for noise making or any form of distraction
  • It gives privacy to workers

Disadvantages of Closed office system

  • It increases the cost of operating the business
  • There might be delay in achieving the business goal
  • It does not give room for intimacy among workers
  • It does not give room for effective supervision

Functions of an Office

The following points below are the functions of an office

  • An office is used for attending to customers , visitors and callers
  • It helps to safeguard and protect information
  • It is used as a place for receiving information from external and internal sources
  • It is a place for the processing of information received for use
  • It is a place of recording information

Qualities of a Good Office Layout

The qualities of a good office layout are the following

  • A good office must allow for easy control and supervision of staff
  • The office should be well laid out to prevent waste of time on unnecessary movement of staff
  • A good office should have enough light and adequate ventilation and the environment should be constantly kept clean.
  • A good office must be suitably equipped with office machines , telephone, stationary etc to ensure good performance
  • An office should be laid out in such a way that will make it possible for work and free flow of information between all members of the staff

Things usually found in the office

The following things are usually found in an office either for the use and comfort of the people working in the office or things to help them perform their duties efficiently. Some of the things usually found in the office are:

  • computer,
  • printers,
  • table,
  • chair,
  • intercom,
  • scanning machines, etc

Test and exercise

  1. An open office can be defined as (a) a large floor place that has no door (b) an office that is always open (c) a large floor place that has no dividing walls or partitions (d) a place for selling equipments
  2. One of these is not an advantage of a closed office (a) workers can jointly use office facilities together (b) it allows for privacy (c) it does not give room for noise making (d) all of the above
  3. Type of office according to size is ———— and ———— (a) open and closed (b) big and wide (c) medium and average (d) small and large
  4. Types of office according to structure is ——— and ———- (a) open and closed (b) big and small (c) large and wide (d) medium and average
  5. All are functions of office except (a) recording information (b) gossiping (c) processing information (d) attending to customers, visitors and callers