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THE OFFICE

THE OFFICE

 

Define the term an office

An office is a building, room or a place set aside for administrative, communication or clerical work of an organization.

Outline the functions of an office

  • Receiving of information in various forms such as calls, personal visits or documents such as letters
  • Recording and sorting of information received.
  • Storing of information for future reference
  • Distribution of information within and outside the organization to the various sections, departments or personnel for necessary action
  • Reproduction or making of copies of the document by use of various methods, such as photocopying, duplicating and carbon copying
  • Protecting or safeguarding the organization’s property

State the various reprographic techniques that can be carried out in an office

  • Carbon copying
  • Stencil duplication
  • Photocopying
  • Spirit duplicating
  • Ink duplicating

Your school would wish to use photocopying as a method of making copies of exams. State the advantages and disadvantages of using this method

Advantages of photocopying

  • It is a fast method of reprography
  • It is a simple method and requires little training  of the users
  • One will obtain the exact copies of the original document
  • The method is not expensive if the copies to be made are few
  • It is environmental friendly

Disadvantages of photocopying

  • The copies that are made fade in the cause of time
  • Photocopying can be costly if the copies being made are many
  • The employees may misuse the method due to its convenience
  • Photocopying machine requires electricity which may be expensive
  • Few colours in a document may be obtained by use of this method

State the types of office layout

  • Enclosed office layout
  • Open office layout
  • Landscape office layout

Suggest reasons why an organization should use landscape office layout

  • It creates a relaxed atmosphere for the workers
  • It is more attractive and beautiful
  • The image of the organization/firm is enhanced
  • It promotes good working relations and co-operation among the workers
  • Equipment and office facilities may be shared among the employees
  • The flowers or plants used to break the  monotony of open spaces

State ways in which landscape office layout can be created

  • By placing plants/flowers in an office
  • By having paintings of animals or plants on the wall
  • By placing fish aquariums in an office
  • Through the shaping of office furniture in form of animals, birds and concrete shapes
  • Creating miniature physical features such as waterfalls and mountains in the office

State why you will advise an office manager to use an open office layout instead of an enclosed office layout

  • In an open office layout, it is easier to supervise workers than in an enclosed office
  • An open office discourages absenteeism which may be common in an enclosed office
  • It is cheaper to maintain an open office than an enclosed office
  • Equipment, facilities and machines can be shared in an open office which may not be possible in an enclosed office
  • Floor space is saved in an open office than in an enclosed office
  • There is enhanced attraction and framework in open office
  • It is cheaper to light an open office than an enclosed office
  • It is easy to locate employees in an open office

State the advantages of enclosed office layout

  • It is ideal for work that is confidential in nature
  • It is more secure than an open office layout
  • The office is ideal where a high level of concentration is required
  • It is prestigious for the occupant of such an office as they are recognized
  • The worker is not disrupted by noise or movement of other employees

Highlight the disadvantages of an open office layout

  • There is a lot of noise and disruption from other employees
  • Contagious diseases may spread easily among the employees
  • The top-ranked workers may feel belittled being placed among other workers
  • It is not very conducive for work that is confidential or secretive in nature
  • Property within the office is not very safe
  • Due to use by many people the office may not be very tidy

Outline the factors that have to be taken into consideration when deciding on a type of office layout to use

  • The cost of construction and maintenance
  • The number of staff to be accommodated in the office
  • The climatic condition of the area
  • Government directive if any
  • The nature of work to be carried out in that particular office
  • The nature and rank of staff to be accommodated in that particular office
  • The floor space available for the office
  • The need to maintain a good workflow among the workers

State the disadvantages of an enclosed office layout

  • It can encourage absenteeism
  • It is not easy to supervise the employees
  • It is expensive to construct and maintain
  • Facilities and office equipment cannot be shared among the workers
  • Workers can misuse office equipment such as the telephone
  • The office layout takes up more space
  • A lot of time is wasted when moving from one office to another
  • It may promote individualism as some employees are isolated from others

Enumerate the factors you will advise Mr Mwajuma to consider when buying office machines for his company

  • The effect of the machine on the workers
  • The cost of the machine or equipment
  • The suitability of the machine for the task that is intended for
  • The availability of after-sales services provided by the seller
  • Presence of office staff with the skills required to operate the machine
  • One has to consider space or room to keep the machine or equipment
  • The likelihood of the machine being outdated absolute or out of date
  • One has to consider whether that machine can adapt to future changes

State the best type of machine one would use to perform the following tasks:

 

Functions

Type of machine

(a)

To create postage impressions on envelopes

Franking machine

(b)

To fold documents put them in an envelope and seal them

Composite machine

(c)

To destroy sensitive but unwanted documents

Paper shredder

(d)

To store large volumes of data

Computer

(e)

To run 300 copies of an exam for students in a school

Printing machine

(f)

To make exam copies of a certain original document

Photocopier

(g)

To trim papers to the required sizes

Guillotine machine

 

Highlight the disadvantages of using an office machine

  • They can be very costly/expensive to buy and operate
  • They occupy space that can be used for other tasks
  • Machines may replace labour causing unemployment
  • Some may require electricity which may be expensive
  • Any breakdown of the machine may work delay
  • The machine may become obsolete(out of date)
  • They are subject to wear and tear(depreciation)
  • Some may require specialized or trained personnel to operate

State the three categories of office staff

  • Managerial staff
  • Junior staff
  • Subordinate staff

Outline the advantages of using office machines

  • Machines are labour saving and can be cost effective in the long run
  • The output of machines is of good quality
  • They can be used to minimize fraud or theft
  • Machines can be very fast saving time
  • They can produce uniform work
  • Machines can be very accurate as compared to human labour
  • Some machines can be adapted to multiple tasks such as a computer

Highlight the role played by a good filing system in an organization

  • The filing provides security/safety of documents
  • It facilitates easy retrieval or access of documents
  • Good filing enhances the orderliness and tidiness of an office
  • It guarantees the confidentiality of information since it cannot get to the wrong hands
  • Good filing promotes good communication
  • Filing guarantees that documents are protected from damage
  • Good filing guarantees good future reference in case the information is required

Outline the various categories of office equipment giving examples in each case

 

Category

Example

(a)

Typing office machine

(i)Typewriter

(ii)Dictating machine

(b)

Mailing office machine

(i)Franking machine

(ii)Composite machine

(iii)Folding machine

(c)

Communication office machine

(i)Telephone

(ii)Telex

(iii)Cell phone

(d)

Duplicating/reprographic machine

(i)Photocopier

(ii)Duplicator

(iii)Printing machine

 

Distinguish between centralized and decentralized filing system

In a centralized system, one department is given the responsibility of keeping and managing all the files in the whole organization. This department is referred to as a registry. Decentralised filing

State the characteristics of a good office worker with office etiquette

  • Courtesy i.e dealing with people politely
  • Punctuality-keeping time at all times
  • Honesty-telling the truth
  • Co-operation with other employees
  • Tactical or being diplomatic when dealing with others
  • Good judgement and coming up with the best decision
  • Neatness and orderliness in terms of work arrangement
  • Dedication or loyalty towards the organization

Highlight personal attributes that Bakari should have as an office worker

  • He should be presentable
  • He should maintain a high standard of morality
  • He should have a good sitting posture
  • He should maintain high standards of hygiene
  • He should be neat and accurate in the organization of his work
  • He should maintain good health and physical fitness through having a proper diet and exercising

Define the roles played by the following office workers

(a)Departmental manager

  • Maintaining the books of accounts
  • He/she may prepare the budget for his/her department
  • Submitting reports to the senior manager about the performance of the department
  • Monitoring and supervising workers in the department
  • Assigning roles and duties to employees in the department

(b)Personal secretary

  • Receiving and filing information
  • Booking appointments for the boss
  • Taking and writing minutes during meetings
  • He/she can maintain a small amount of money for making small or petty purchases in the office
  • He/she receives and makes calls for his seniors

Highlight trends in office management

  • The use of modern computers enhances efficiency
  • Introduction of customer care desks or offices to address customers concerns
  • The movement toward open and landscape office plan to enhance more interaction among the workers
  • Outsourcing for some task that can be done by other firms instead of employing workers to do the same e.g. having external cleaners or security
  • Use of the cell phone for communication

E-Commerce is a recent trend in business. Outline the advantages of using this method in carrying out business activities.

Advantages

  • One can have a wide variety of goods and services from all over the world
  • It reduces the cost of travelling to the market or in search of a product
  • It is fast as deals can be made within a short period of time
  • A seller can advertise goods to many consumers  over a wide area
  • Paperwork and the many documents used on other trade are removed or reduced as selling and buying is on-line
  • A lot of information about the market can be accessed on the internet