During the past 30 years, has helped the enhance productivity in the office. The movement towards automation in work is often called office automation (OA).
Office automation includes the new hardware and software technologies-word processor, spread sheet package, electronic mail and so on-that makes office workers more productive, in addition to the attendant situation created by OA technologies and the people that use these technologies.
These combinations of information technologies that have a dramatic impact on day-to-day office operations are called office information systems (OIS).
The origin of office automation can be traced back to early 1960s, when IBM coined the term word processing to describe the activity of its electronic type writer division.
The term expressed to concept that office activity is centered on the processing of the words.
The intent was to draw the same attention to office products that have been lavished on computers and data processing.
Since the debut of word processing, other technologies have been applied to office work.
It includes all formal and informal electronics systems primarily concerned with the communication of information to and from person both inside and outside the organisations.
OFFICES AND OFFICE SYSTEMS
The fundamental network of office work has changed drastically over the past 30 to 40 years.
At one time, virtually the only role of equipment in the office was to help workers become more efficient. Until the mid-1960s, only the type writer, phone, copying machine, were standard office equipment.
Now, as computer technologies have a strong presence in offices, office workers have powerful tools that make them more effective.
Nature of the Office
An office is a place where staff and line professionals, secretaries, and clerk perform management and administrative tasks. The work performed by office workers is often called white collar work.
There are five types Office workers found in the office :
1. Managers – Managers generally most of their time in planning, coordinating and controlling the activities of other people. Some examples are examinations controller, chief executive officer, operations manager, head of marketing research, and the principal of the college.
2. Staff professionals – Staff professionals support the activities of manager. These professionals have no direct line responsibility, i.e., their role is mostly one planning analyzing, and informing management of their finding.
3. Line professionals – Line professionals includes sales persons and purchasing agents. They typically interact daily with such outside groups as the organization’s customers and suppliers.
4. Secretaries – Secretaries are normally assigned to one or more knowledge workers in an office. They perform such support tasks as typing, filling, answering phones, and keeping appointment calendars.
5. Clerical personnel- Clerical personnel are usually not assigned to anyone in particular. They support the entire department/section/division. Typical tasks of clerks are filing, typing, and assisting in report preparation.
Evolution of Office Systems
• Until the mid 1960s, information technologies, in the office were typewriters, phones copying machines and electric adding machines. In 1964, a seemingly modest typing called word processing appeared. Since then, information processing in the office has never been the same. The introduction of microcomputers and small business computers in the late 1960s and early 1970s also contributed to the alteration of the office’s technology. Smaller computers made it possible to decentralize computing down to regional offices and individual offices. It was not
unusual for large offices to own their computer. This trend towards decentralization was called distributed data processing (DDP).
• The primary purpose of office information systems is to facilitate communication among members of an organization and between the organization and its external environment. An office information system allows individuals and group members to create, store and exchange messages through a variety of communications media, including data, documents , images , voice (audio), and video.