Office Personnel are the framework of any business organization. They ensure that the office runs smoothly and efficiently. The company would be in disarray if they did not exist. They are responsible for answering phones, filing paperwork, and keeping the office organized. They are the corporate world’s unsung heroes. In this article, we will explain about office personnel in less than 3,000 words.
Meaning and Definition of Office Personnel
Each organization has a specific objective. It needs to engage in several activities to reach the goal. These endeavours are divided into low-level, mid-level, and high-level. The office hires a large staff to handle all levels of work effectively and efficiently. All employees working in the office are therefore referred to as office personnel.
One of the most crucial categories of office resources is office personnel. The human resource is the one that makes the other resources available out of all the others. Different levels of personnel are needed in the office to make various equipment, furniture, materials, and finances operate because they do not do so independently.
The office hires various staff with various levels of training, experience, and quality to accommodate the variety and volume of jobs. Some employees create plans and policies, while others implement those plans and policies. A team effort is necessary to create a successful organization, whatever that may be. As a result, office personnel refers to all human resources employed at various levels of an office who are jointly accountable for a single objective.
The appointment of various staff, including the army and police forces set up to maintain internal and external peace and security, and defence is based on necessity and office objectives. For example, the government chooses civil servants to deliver public utility services to the general populace. Similarly, human resources are necessary for social and commercial endeavours to produce and offer goods and services. Therefore, various offices need multiple levels of staff with technical and administrative knowledge and skills.
Types of Office Personnel
The office appoints personnel to various levels and positions to carry out official duties. A single group of staff cannot carry out such activities. Thus, depending on the nature of the work, the office appoints personnel with varying qualifications, experience, and calibre at various levels and posts.
So, office personnel is categorized as follows:
- Office Chief
- Section/ Branch Officer
- Office Assistant
The head of the office is referred to as the office chief. They are the executive in charge of steering the office toward its objectives. They hold the highest position and manage, direct, and control all organizational activities. They are entitled to make plans and policies and direct and control activities. S/he is a staff member who serves as the coordinator, ensuring that all tasks are completed effectively and on time to meet the organizational goal. They are a vital member of the office management team. The proprietor may or may not be the chief, depending on the form of the organization. They are responsible for assigning work to employees based on their nature, caliber, skill, and intelligence and evaluating their performance.
In short, the office chief is an executive whose presence is required to carry out the following tasks:
(i) Develop and implement plans and policies to achieve the organization’s goal.
(ii) To provide instructions and guidance to subordinates for official activities to be carried out effectively.
(iii) Assigning responsibilities to the appropriate individuals based on experience, caliber, and nature.
(iv) Manage/organize ability training and seminars.
(v) To instil in the staff a positive attitude and faith in the office.
(vi) Maintaining discipline and managing monetary and non-monetary incentives.
(vii) To make arrangements for official properties.
(viii) To establish a proper office system and eliminate office delays.
(ix) To keep a safe working environment.
(x) To assess official performance using standard actions.
Section/ Branch Officer
Several sections and branches are created for the smooth operation of large-scale organizations. A single chief cannot manage all of these departments. Therefore, a mid-level executive known as a section/ branch officer is appointed to manage and control all activities of respective sections and branches. They are the chief of their division, set by the head office. Their duties are similar to those of the office chief. However, limitations are imposed when making important decisions.
Every day, a variety of tasks are completed in an office. These works are divided into three categories: high-level, mid-level, and low-level. Low-level work includes regular and repetitive tasks such as filing, record keeping, handling mail, and telegrams, drafting and typing letters, and making and receiving phone calls. Staff is appointed in the office as designated office assistants to perform such low-level work. They are the low-level employees who assist office chiefs and section officers. They are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the office. As a result, office assistants are low-level employees assigned to assist their superiors by performing routine official tasks.
Office assistants in government offices include Nayab Subba (Na.Su. ), Khariddar, and Mukhiya. In private offices, office assistants include receptionists, senior assistants, junior assistants, and personal assistants.
Some of the most common types of office assistants in Nepalese offices are the following:
(i) Sectional clerk (Phantwala): Sectional Clerk or Phantwala refers to the office assistant who performs low-level work for a specific section. S/he is only responsible for performing official sectional jobs to assist their seniors. Under the supervision and direction of the sectional/branch office, they perform work. For example, a sectional clerk could be a storekeeper, a filing clerk, or an accountant.
(ii) Personal assistant (Niji Sahayak): The office manager is extremely busy. S/he should carry out several high-level tasks, attend meetings and seminars, and travel within and outside the country to represent the office. It may be challenging to complete all tasks on one’s own. As a result, a Personal Assistant is appointed to assist the chief in their official duties. A Personal Assistant is also known as a P.A. Personal Assistants are provided to Ministers, Secretaries, Directors, and the Inspector General of Police in government offices.
(iii) Receptionist (Samparka Sahayak): Many visitors and guests come to the office for various reasons. There will also be incoming and outgoing phone calls. As a result, a receptionist is appointed in the office to assist with the proper reception and handling of guests and phone calls. S/he is a low-level employee who greets guests and answers the office phone first.
The receptionist must be cheerful and polite to deal effectively with visitors. They must adequately receive and deal with visitors. Visitors must be directed to the appropriate department. If visitors must wait, they should manage seats and newspapers. Calls should also be handled correctly. Queries should be answered politely. Similarly, if the call is urgent and related to the staff, the receptionist must forward it to the appropriate personnel.
Functions and Duties of Office Assistants
Office assistants are expected to perform their duties following their rank, position, and job nature. They are in charge of discharge activities that are routine and clerical. The following are some of the most common tasks performed by office assistants:
(i) Preparation of a daily work schedule: The office assistant is responsible for various daily tasks. All of those tasks can be completed at different times. As a result, the office assistant should create a timetable for completing such tasks, considering their urgency and importance.
(ii) Letter drafting and typing: Office assistants should draft and type outgoing letters. Examples of such letters include inquiries, responses, invitations, appointments, circulars, greetings, and notices. S/he should follow the office chief’s instructions when drafting essential letters and documents.
(iii) Handling phone calls: Phone calls can be both incoming and outgoing. It is the office assistant’s responsibility to handle such calls on behalf of the office. The office assistant should politely answer inquiries. Important calls should be immediately relayed to the office chief and other concerned personnel. In addition, under the supervision of the office chief, s/he should call customers, debtors, creditors, other offices, and so on.
(iv) Handling mail and telegrams: The office assistant should also handle correspondence and telegrams properly. Incoming and outgoing mail should be registered in the entry mail book and dispatched accordingly. Similarly, incoming mail should be routed to the appropriate departments and personnel for the necessary actions based on the nature of the mail.
(v) Note-taking and transcription: As part of their regular duties, the Personal Assistant (P.A.) is responsible for taking notes in a notebook as verbally dictated by their boss. They must carry out the tasks specified in the directive. The assistant can use shorthand script to record the dictation, which must then be converted into readable form, a process known as transcribing. As a result, they should be capable of doing so and writing letters and documents based on such noted points.
(vi) Filing documents and letters: The office generates and collects valuable information in notes, circulars, and other similar documents. Such letters and documents will be helpful for various purposes in the future. As a result, the office assistant should file and preserve them systematically and scientifically. As a result, they can obtain it quickly when the required document is requested.
(vii) Receiving and interacting with visitors: The office receives many visitors and guests daily for various reasons. The Office Assistant, particularly the receptionist, is the one who greets them cheerfully and politely at first. They should provide the necessary information and direct them to the appropriate departments and personnel. If they are waiting, they should manage their seats, magazines, tea, and cold drinks.
(viii) Keeping books of accounts: A variety of expenses and incomes occur in the organization daily. Aside from that, asset purchases and sales, as well as cash withdrawals and deposits into banks, may occur. The office assistant is responsible for recording such financial transactions in the books of accounts.
(ix) Using machines: In the office, various machines such as calculators, punching machines, laptops, fax machines, photocopiers, and computers are used. Work performed with such machines will be more dependable, accurate, and timely. As a result, the office assistant should use them to complete tasks more efficiently.
(x) Organizing the chief’s visit: For official purposes, the chief may be required to travel to various locations within and outside the country. The office assistant should prepare everything for the chief’s visit here. They must purchase tickets, reserve hotels and lodges, and arrange for passports, visas, and other necessary documents.
(xi) Reminding the chief: A chief of staff has a hectic schedule. Along with performing administrative management duties, s/he has daily appointments, important meetings, and seminars to attend. Unfortunately, due to one’s business, s/he might need to remember the time and date of such programs. So, it is the office assistant’s responsibility to remind the client of their appointments promptly.
Qualification of Office Assistants
The Office Assistant is responsible for a variety of official duties. To complete such tasks, s/he must have specific academic and technical qualifications, which are discussed further below.
(i) Academic qualification: It refers to the formal education required to hold the post. Due to the responsibilities and nature of the jobs, the office assistant must have formal education, ranging from SLC to Bachelor’s Degree in Government Offices. They can perform the work efficiently if they have completed at least the minimum academic qualification. Furthermore, accepting responsibility is a legal requirement. As a result, it is a fundamental qualification.
(ii) Training: Training is a practical class in any subject that increases a person’s ability to do their job. To perform their duties effectively, the Office Assistants should have training in the relevant field. It is required because more than formal education is required to cover all of the qualifications needed to be a good Office Assistant.
(iii) Experience: Although not legally required, it adds to one’s qualifications and makes one more capable of performing official duties. Human beings improve through experience. A person with no experience is commonly referred to as a bare hand. It teaches us how to solve and deal with even the most challenging problems in a straightforward manner. This is why a candidate with no experience is now considered unqualified. As a result, it is a bonus qualification for the Office Assistant.
(iv) Knowledge of rules, regulations, and the law: An office assistant should be familiar with the office’s internal rules and regulations to complete work within time constraints. Aside from that, they should be familiar with the country’s current legal system. It enables them to complete assigned tasks correctly and maintain discipline.
(v) Foreign language proficiency: The Office Assistant should be able to receive and interact with visitors from various countries. For effective dealing, s/he should, at the very least, be fluent in English, as it is spoken worldwide. If they have a strong command of the English language, they will be able to deal with foreign visitors effectively.
Traits/ Qualities/ Features/ Characteristics of Office Assistant
To be a good Office Assistant, you should have some of the internal and external qualities listed below.
(i) Personal appearance: The personal outlook of an Office Assistant is referred to as personal appearance. S/he must be attractive, resulting from cleanliness, tidiness, and intelligence. It is possible to achieve this by taking regular baths, cutting hair, trimming nails, brushing teeth, and dressing cleanly. As a result, the Office Assistant appears appealing to others.
(ii) Attractive attire: Attractive attire enhances an Office Assistant’s personality. It does not only refer to the wearing of expensive clothing. It is attractive if the cloth is clean, fits the body, and is appropriate for the culture and season. Thus, Office Assistants should dress in clothes that fit their bodies, are suitable for the dress code and season, and provide comfort while working.
(iii) Make-up: Make-up is the act of enhancing one’s beauty through the use of various cosmetics such as lipstick, cream, face powder, tika, and so on. The Office Assistant should use such cosmetics sparingly because too much make-up detracts from natural beauty.
(iv) Speech: The Office Assistant should be polite. They should be courteous to attract the attention of others and create positive feelings. Aside from that, s/he should be respectful to seniors and kind to juniors to motivate them.
(v) Friendliness, cooperation, and assistance: Friendliness is a person’s ornament. Office assistants should refrain from displaying their pride in front of others. S/he should always be cooperative and helpful to receive assistance from others in need. S/he should have a sense of mutual aid for the common good.
(vi) Good health: As the saying goes, “health is wealth,” so the Office Assistant must be in good health to perform all official duties. Good health makes a man physically and mentally fit and strong, allowing him to work hard. To accomplish this, the Office Assistant should exercise regularly and maintain good health.
(vii) Interest and learning habits: The Office Assistant should be interested in doing the work that has been assigned to them. S/he should always be curious about one’s responsibilities, and they should always be looking for new ways and techniques of performing activities to improve their skill and ability. It implies that they should have a habit of learning new things and a keen interest in one’s work.
(viii) Punctuality and consistency: Another essential quality of an Office Assistant is consistency. S/he should not take unplanned leave because it disrupts the office. After all, they have many responsibilities. In the absence of the Office Assistant, much work will be completed. Aside from that, Office Assistants must arrive and leave the office on time. They should sometimes stay late if essential and urgent tasks remain unfinished.
(ix) Tactfulness: The Office Assistant must be able to face and solve any critical situation or problem. They should be present following the demands of the time and situation. Sometimes they need tricks and ideas to solve problems at the right time and in the right way.
(x) Self-dependability: This quality enables a person to complete the assigned task on their own. Office assistants should complete their jobs without the assistance of others. When people delegate their responsibilities to others, they kill their creativity and self-reliance.
(xi) Others: Other qualities of an Office Assistant include patience, confidentiality, loyalty, and a positive attitude.