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Means Of Communication

Means of communication can be oral and written.

1. Oral communication
It is communication through words and sounds. The message is passed orally. It can be used for both internal and external communication. It is personal and informal.
Types of oral communication
Oral communication can be of two types:

i. Face-to-face communication
It is face-to-face verbal conversation between two persons. It is interpersonal. The sender of message and receiver of message face each other. It uses speech as well as body language. Body language consists of: facial expression, eye contact, body postures, hand movements and gestures.
Face-to-face communication can be in the form of lecture, interview, meeting, conversation, conference and discussion. It is most widely used form of communication.

ii. Communication through mechanical devices
The oral communication is done through mechanical devices. The mechanical devices serve as channels for transfer of oral message. The mechanical devices can be telephone, mobile phone, intercom system, dictating machine, bells, buzzers, lights, loudspeakers, voice mail through Internet etc.

2. Written communication
It is communication through written words. It uses alphabets and numbers to convey information. It is non-personal and formal. It can be used both for internal and external communication.
Written communication can be in the form of notes, memos, letters, forms, notices, invoices, circulars, reports, manuals, newsletters, e-mail and fax messages.

Types of written communication
Written communication can be of two types as follows:

i. Messenger delivered
Written message is delivered by a messenger. It can be employee, postman or courier. It involves delivery of hard copy of the message.

ii. Mechanically delivered
Written message is delivered through mechanical devices. It is delivered electronically in the form of soft copy or printed copy with speed and accuracy. Mechanical devices can be tele-printer, fax machine, e-mail, closed circuit television, Internet chat, SMS etc.

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External Sources Of Information
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Needs Or Importance Of Communication

Types Of Communication

Communication is flow of information. It is the process of passing message from one person to another. It involves speaking, listing, reading and understanding. Communication can be of following types:

1. Internal communication
It is communication within the organization. The message and meaning are passed from sender to receiver within the same organization. It is the essence of office management. It is needed to perform management functions. It connects the organization internally.
Types of internal communication
Internal communication can be of two types:

i. Intradepartmental : It is communication in the same department. For example, between marketing manager and salesperson in marketing department.

ii. Interdepartmental: It is communication between departments. For example, between employees of marketing department and production department.

2. External communication
It is communication outside the organization. The message and meaning are transmitted from one organization to another organization. It establishes relationship with outsiders. They can be customers, suppliers, financial institutions, government and community. External communication is essential for survival and growth of business. It connects the business organization with outside world.
Types of external communication
External communication can be of two types:

i. Inward: It is communication from outsiders with the organization. For example, complaint letter from customer.

ii. Outward: It is communication by the organization with the outsiders. For example, application for loan by the organization to a bank.

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External Sources Of Information

External sources of information are located outside the office. They involve exchange of information with outsiders. They are as follows:

1. Incoming mail
Mail received in an office is an important external source of information. It can be received from messenger, postman, courier. It can be collected by an employee. It can be received through fax or e-mail.

2. Documents
They can be inquiries, quotations, tenders, orders, notices received by the office.

3. Interactions
Interactions in meetings, conferences and personal visits can be important sources of information. the sources are:
* Managers: They gather information by reading newspapers, journals and interactions with customers, suppliers and middlemen.
* Middlemen: They provide information about the actions of competitors.
* Specialists: They are appointed as consultants to gather information.
* Outsourcing: Detectives are hired to gather intelligence information in a legal way.

4. Mechanical
Telephone calls, fax, e-mails, websites are used to gather information.

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Internal Sources Of Information

Internal sources of information are located in the office. They involve exchange of information with insiders. They can be as follows:

1. Customer-relate records
Past records of orders, invoices, inventory and payment provide information about customers.

2. Internal reports
Sales reports, annual reports, audit reports and financial statements provide information about performance.

3. Internal documents
Outgoing mails, memos, notices, circulars, bulletins and manuals are important internal sources of information.

4. Interactions
Opinions, suggestions, discussions and complaints by office employees are important internal sources of information. They can be through speaking, writing and body language consisting of gestures and expressions.

5. Mechanical
They can be transfer of information through bell, telephone, internet, online computers. Their use is increasing in internal sources of information.

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Needs Or Importance Of Communication

Communication is the lifeblood of business organization. It is the basis for performing management functions. Communication is important due to the following reasons:

1. Smooth operations
Communication is needed at all levels of business management. Managerial instructions are issued through communication. Employee feedback is received through communication. Smooth operations of organization require continuous communication. Communication keeps everyone focused on goals achievement.

2. Better planning
Planning is predetermining future. It is based on flow of information. Plan implementation requires communication of goals, targets, standards and instructions. Communication facilitates better planning. It is the source of information for planning.

3. Aids decision making
Decision making is selection of best alternative to achieve goals. Communication facilitates effective decision making. Information is the raw material for decision making. Understanding of problem, identification and evaluation of alternatives and making of choice are all based on information. Complex decisions require more information. Problem solving also requires information.

4. Improves direction
Communication improves direction involving interaction between superior and subordinates. Supervision through overseeing is based on face-to-face communication. Leadership influences are facilitated by two way communication.

5. Aids coordination
Communication aids coordination. It helps to achieve unity and harmony of efforts. Clear transfer of instructions reduces confusion and links people together.

6. Facilitates control
Control is facilitated by communication. Establishment of standards, monitoring of performance and corrective actions are based on communication.

7. Image building
Communication is needed for image building. It helps to maintain cordial relations with customers, suppliers, government, trade unions and society. Activities and achievements need communication for image building of business.

8. Change management
Change is making things different. Communication facilitates change management. Changing technology and increasing business size require change. Communication reduces resistance to change.

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Meaning Of Business Communication And Its Elements

Concept And Meaning Of Business Communication
Business communication is a two way process of passing message and meaning from one person to another. It involves flow of message from sender and meaning from the receiver. The receiver must clearly understand the meaning of message.
All business organizations need communication.. Businessmen spend a lot of time communicating. Everything a businessman does involves communication. It is needed to perform business functions. It is the essence of leading, motivating, coordinating, supervising and decision making. Communication links people together. No business can exist without communication.
Communication is based on information flow. Information technology has facilitate the development of computerized information system.
Business communication facilitates information haring through telling, listening and understanding. It involves exchange of facts, ideas, opinions and emotions to create mutual understanding.

Elements Of Business Communication
Business communication is a two-way process between sender and receiver. It has the following elements:

1. Sender
It is the source of communication. it can be a person or organization. It sends message. Message can be information, idea and emotion.

2. Encoding
It converts message into symbols. It can be word, number , sound, picture and gestures.

3. Channel
It is the media for flow of message. It can be oral, print, audio-visual, computer network and e-mail.

4. Decoding
It is giving meaning to encoded symbols. Translation is done for understanding the meaning of the message received.

5. Receiver
It is the target of communication. The receiver can accept or reject the message.

6. Feedback
It is a response of the receiver. it provides understanding about the meaning of message.

7. Noise
It distorts communication. It is due to external factors. it reduces effectiveness of communication.

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Factors To Be Considered For Selecting Office Machines And Furniture

Office machines and furniture involve huge investment. They should be carefully selected. The following factors should be considered while selecting office furniture and machines.

1. Cost
Office furniture is available in various price ranges. The availability of fund should be considered in making selection of office machine and furniture. Cost is generally the deciding factor.

2. Durability
The durability of machines and furniture varies according to the material used for making it. Metal furniture is more durable compared to wooden and plastic furniture. Better quality branded machines are more durable. They durability should be considered in making selection of office machine and furniture.

                         Also Read: Importance Of Office Furniture

3. Compact
Office space is expensive and limited. Saving in space should be an important factor in selecting office machine and furniture. Compact furniture should be preferred. Nano technology is making the size of machine smaller.

4. Move-ability
The move-ability should be an important factor for selection of office machines and furniture. Heavy furniture cannot be moved easily from place to place. Light weight furniture should be preferred. Office machines also should be easily move-able.

5. Safety
Office machines and furniture should not be unsafe. Glass top and sharp cornered furniture is unsafe.. Safety should be a factor in selection of office machines and furniture.

                      Also Read: Importance Of Office Machines

6. Multiple uses
Office furniture require multiple uses. Their selection should be based on the possibility of multipurpose uses. Selection of machine should be done for specific uses.

7. Design and standardization
The design of machines and furniture should facilitate office work. Design is related to size, height and functions. It should be attractive in appearance. Standardization in design facilitates bulk purchase at low cost. Maintenance also becomes easy with standardized machines. Design and standardization should be carefully considered in selecting office machines and furniture.

8. Comfort
Employees spend a lot of time in offices. The furniture should be comfortable for them to sit, work and store documents. Comfort should be considered in selecting office furniture. Machines should be convenient to use.

Importance Of Office Furniture

Office furniture is essential for smooth and efficient functioning of an office. It makes office environment comfortable, pleasant and attractive. The following points indicate the importance of office furniture:

1. Efficiency
Office furniture increases work efficiency of employees. They feel comfortable to work in a pleasant environment. The office work can be done smoothly with speed and productivity increases.

2. Labor saving
Systematic layout of office furniture facilitates easy movement of employees. Properly designed furniture reduces unnecessary movements. Therefore labor can be saved.

                            Also Read: Factors To Be Considered For Selecting Office Furniture

3. Fatigue reduction
Right type of office furniture reduces fatigue in employees. Fatigue is the feeling of tiredness. Employees can work longer hours without feeling tired and monotony of work decreases.

4. Safety
Systematic layout of office furniture ensures safety in office. Records can be safely kept in cabinets and drawers. The risk of damage from rats, insects, fire, water and dust decreases. The chance of theft decreases.

                      Also Read: Importance Of Office Machines

5. Employee satisfaction
Comfortable and properly designed furniture maintains employee satisfaction. It develops positive attitude towards the organization. The level of employee motivation is maintained.

6. Image
Attractive furniture provides favorable impression to visitors. This improves the image of the office. Customers are attracted and goodwill of the organization increases.

                 Also Read: Meaning Of Office Machine




Meaning Of Office Furniture

Office furniture is an important element of office environment. It is needed to conduct office work efficiently and comfortably. Every office needs furniture as a basic facility. Most office work is desk work performed indoors.
Office furniture is needed for sitting, working and storing purposes. It consists of:
- Chairs, sofas, couches for sitting
- Table, desks, trays for working
- Shelves, racks, cabinets, cupboards, lockers for storing

Furniture can be made of wood, metal, plastic, and fiberglass. Attractive furniture provides impressive look to an office.
Office furniture can be of four types:

General furniture: It consists of ordinary chairs, tables and cupboards used in an office. They are move-able.

Built-in furniture: It is fixed on floor or walls. For example, shelves, cupboards, safe-deposit vaults.

Special purpose furniture: It is used for doing special jobs. For example computer table and chair, drawing table, sofa sets etc. They can also be design for health purposes.

Executive furniture: It is specially designed for use by top executives. They are executive chairs, tables and couches. They are expensive and attractive.

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Importance Of Office Machines

Office machines are important for an office due to the following reasons:

1. Labor saving
Office machines are labor saving devices. They save human labor and same volume of work can be done by less number of employees. Performance of existing employees increases.

2. Time saving
Office machines save time because they can perform office work faster. For example, calculating machine can do calculations much faster than manual calculation.

3. Cost saving
Office machines save costs by saving labor and time. The office operating costs go down. Office machines require heavy investment for installation but they save costs of providing services in the long run. They are economical.

                   Also Read: Factors To Be Considered For Selecting Office Machine

4. Better quality
Office machines increase quality of office work. They bring uniformity in work. This promotes standardization in work quality. The work performed is accurate and neat.

5. Accuracy
Office machines bring accuracy in office work. Chances of errors decrease. A machine an work continuously with uniform speed.

6. Reduce monotony
Repetitive manual jobs create monotony in employees. They feel bored and physical tired. Office machines can perform repetitive jobs continuously and reduce monotony.

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7. Reduce fraud
Office machines reduces the chances of fraud in office work. Cheque writing machine reduce chances of unauthorized signatures. Franking machines reduce chances of fraud in postage stamps. Cash registers reduce chances of cash manipulation.

8. Efficiency
Office machines increase efficiency in office work. Employee performance increases. Office costs go down. Complex problems are handled easily. Computers store information safely and provide it speedily as and when needed.

                        Also Read: Meaning of Office Furniture

9. Control
Office machines facilitate control in office work. Actual performance of employees can be compared with standard performance. Corrective actions can be taken for gaps in performance.

10. Image
Office machines increase prestige and image of office. They provide modern look to the office. Efficient and timely services increase satisfaction of customers, employees and shareholders.

Meaning Of Office Machine

Office machines are needed for performing office jobs accurately, speedily and efficiently. They have labor, time and cost. They are used by every type of office.
Office machines are mechanical and electronic devices they aid office works. They range from calculator to computers. Office machines are essential for functioning of a modern office. People perform jobs in office and office machines aid them to do the jobs efficiently. They increase productivity.
Office machines can be of following types:

Computer: It performs multiple functions electronically.
Accounting machines: Calculator, cash register, cheque writer, book keeping machine, note and coin counting machine.
Secretarial machines: Telephone, fax, photocopy, typewriter, Dictaphone, addressing machine, franking machine, letter opening and sealing machine, numbering machine, time recording machine.

Office machines should be carefully selected. They should meet office need. They should be compact, serviceable, flexible, usable and of reasonable cost.

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Retention And Disposal Of Records

Records retention and disposal are important phases in life cycle of record management.
Records retention is storage of records for future reference. It involves systematic classification, preservation and protection of records. Files, computers, pen drives and microfilms are used to preserve records.
Records disposal is concerned with destruction of unnecessary records. Such records are known as dead records.
The factors to be considered in records retention and disposal are follows:

1. Legal requirements
Records management must comply with legal requirements. Various laws prescribe retention of records for stipulated periods.

2. Nature of records
The nature of records determines their period of retention. Important records such as insurance policies, legal contracts, licenses, personnel records and financial statements need to be retained for longer periods. Land ownership records are kept till the land is sold.

3. Frequency of reference
The records that are frequently referred are retained safely. Unnecessary records are disposed.

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Principles Of Records Management

Records management should be based on the following principles:

1. Principle of classification
Records should be classified properly. They can be classified according to use, time, subject and chronology.

2. Principle of verification
Records should be verifiable as needed. They become valueless and meaningless without verification.

3. Principle of purpose
Records should be maintained with a justifiable and clear purpose. Records without purposes are waste of time, labor and money.

4. Principle of availability
Records should provide the needed information as and when needed. They should be available on time.

                                     
5. Principle of flexibility
Record management should be flexible. It should be subject to expansion or contraction according to business requirement.

6. Principle of reasonable cost
The cost of record management should be reasonable. More money should be spent on permanent and important records. Money should not be spent on unnecessary records.

7. Principle of retention
Records should be retained for required time only. Permanent records should be retained till the life of the organization. Important records should be retained for a longer period. Temporary records should be retained for a shorter period. Unnecessary records should be destroyed.

                        Also Read: Importance Of Records Management

Types Of Records

Records can be of various types. They can be classified on the basis of nature of records and retention needs of records.

Types Of Records On The Basis of Nature

1. Personal records
They are related to human resources working in the organization. They includes:
- Personal data about each employee, such as name, address, date of birth, married or unmarried etc.
- Skills data about education, raining, languages, special skills etc.
- Position data about current and past positions held, duties and responsibilities etc.
- Salary data about current and past performance on job.

                             Also Read: Meaning Of Records Management

2. Correspondence records
They are related to incoming and outgoing mail. Organization sends and receives mail everyday. They can be letters, inquiries, orders, complaints, circulars, notices, applications etc. They can be related to customers, suppliers, government, shareholders, media and general public.

3. Legal records
They are required by law. They are required as evidence in legal proceedings. They can be contracts, mortgage deeds, insurance policy, income tax and value added tax records. They are related to legal matters.

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4. Accounting records
They are related to financial transactions. They can be bills, vouchers, sales, purchases, cash, trading, profit, loss, stock, assets and liabilities records. They are related to financial health of the organization.

5. Miscellaneous records
They can be progress reports of activities. They also include records not included in above-mentioned types of records.

                            
Types of records on the basis of retention need
The types of records according to their retention need can be as follows:

1. Permanent records
They are retained till the life of the organization. They are legal documents related to establishment of the organization, contracts, land ownership documents, insurance policy and taxation related documents.

                                    Also Read: Retention And Disposal Of Records

2. Important records
They are retained for a longer duration up-to 20 years. They are related to:
- Construction, research, personnel records
- Budget, accounting records, audit reports
- Annual reports, minutes of meetings
- Important letters, progress reports

3. Temporary records
They are retained for a short duration up to one year. They are related to:
- Ordinary letters
- Bank statements
- Notices and circulars of general nature
- Greetings cards and congratulatory messages.

                    Also Read: Principles Of Records Management

Importance Of Records Management

Records management is important due to the following reasons:

1. Future reference
Records are memory of business. Records management preserves records for future references. Such records are essential for smooth running of office. They provide history of business.

2. Legal requirements
Records management is needed to fulfill legal requirements. Various laws require records retention for specified period of time. The company act requires retention of memorandum and articles of association till the life of the company. Land ownership deed also needs to be retained until the land is sold.

3. Legal evidence
Records management is important to provide legal evidence in courts. Documents are needed in cases of disputes and conflicts. Business claims cannot be settled without records.

                        Also Read: Principles Of Records Management

4. Protection
Records management ensures safe storage of inactive records. They are kept in files, microfilm or computer disc. Protection is ensured against destruction by fire, dust, water, theft etc.

5. Disposal
Records management ensures disposal of dead records. Useless or out-of-date records are destroyed. Disposal ensure better utilization of office space.

                              Also Read: Types Of Records

6. Cost saving
Records occupy office space. They involve maintenance costs. Record management saves costs by destroying dead records. Space is available for preservation of new records and costs are saved.

7. Efficiency
Records management enhances office efficiency. The cost of storage goes down. Needed records are readily available. Plans and policies can be speedily formulated.

8. Image
Records management enhances image of the office. Active records are readily available for quick decisions and actions. Customers satisfaction increases.

                   Also Read: Retention And Disposal Of Records


Meaning Of Record Management

Records are the backbone of modern business. They are the memory of office. Records are written documents containing information. They are needed as future references to conduct business activities. They are the basis for accessing and comparing progress. They can be letters, orders, invoices, vouchers, books of accounts, minutes of meetings, reports, contracts, personnel and other records. They get accumulated every year in an office. They are paper work and computer files.
Record management is an important function of office management. Filing and indexing is concerned with records management. Records management includes activities designed to control the life cycle of records. The stages in the life cycle of record consist of :

1. Creating records:
Printed forms are used for creating records in file.
2. Storing records:
Inactive records are retained for future reference.
3. Retrieving records:
Records are retrieved for reference
4. Disposing records:

Qualities Of Good Indexing

Good indexing should be fit with filing system. It should have the following qualities:

1. Simplicity
A good indexing system should be simple. It should be easy to understand and operate. Employees should easily gain knowledge about it.

2. Economical
A good indexing should be economical. It should not be expensive to install and operate. The cost of materials and equipment should not be high. The indexing system should be compact. It should not occupy too much office space.

3. Flexibility
A good indexing should be flexible. It should have capacity to change with changing needs for filing. It should be able to discard dead references and add new references.

                            Also Read: Meaning And Purposes Of Indexing

4. Quick location
A good indexing system should quickly locate needed files and documents. It should ensure efficient and smooth office operations.

5. Suitability
A good indexing system should be suitable to the needs of filing system. It should facilitate speed in filing documents.

                          Also Read: Types Of Indexing

6. Safety
A good indexing system should be safe. It should be protected from insects, rats, dust, water. fire etc. It should not be accessible to unauthorized persons. it should ensure secrecy about internal matters of office.

7. Cross
A good indexing system should provide cross reference for documents that are related to more than one file.

Types Of Indexing

The nature, size and volume of records determine the type of indexing for an office. The various types of indexing are as follows:

1. Book indexing
It uses register book for indexing. It has alphabets A to Z on the right side. Each alphabet is given some pages. The alphabets are visible at a glance. The names and subjects of files are written on the left side of the page in alphabetical order. Telephone diary is an example of book indexing.

2. Loose-leaf indexing
It is book index in loose form. It uses loose sheets of paper for indexing. The papers have alphabets on the right side from A to Z. Alphabets are visible in glance. The names and subjects of files are written on the left-hand side in alphabetical order. The loose sheets are fastened by metal rings or hinges.

                                  Also Read: Meaning And Purposes Of Indexing

3. Card indexing
It uses thick cards of standard size. The cards are placed in drawers or cabinets in a vertical position. An iron rod keeps the cards together. One card is allotted to one name or subject. Cards are arranged in alphabetical, geographical or chronological order. Guide cards are used to divide in sections. This type of indexing is found in libraries.

4. Visible card indexing
It uses cards of standard size. The cards are flatly placed in a tray. Each card overlaps the other card. The bottom of the card is easily visible. The tray is fitted in a drawer. They can be easily pulled out for reference. The cards are kept together in the tray by a device. This type of index in used in banks for specimen signatures. It is also used in libraries.

                             Also Read: Qualities Of Good Indexing

5. Strip card indexing
It is an improvement of visible card indexing. Strips made of thick paper are fitted in a metal frame. The strip contains one line information. All the strips are easily visible. One strip card is used for one name or subject. It is alphabetically or numerically arranged. It is generally used in clubs and social organizations. It is used for information about name, address, telephone number etc.

6. Rotary card Indexing
Rotary card indexing is an improved form of visible card indexing. it uses paper cards of standard size. The cards are fitted in a round metal rod with slits. The metal rod is fitted in a rotary machine. The cards are arranged in slits in alphabetical order. The rotary machine is rotated clockwise to locate the needed card.

Meaning And Purposes Of Indexing

Concept And Meaning Of Indexing

Index is a guide. It is a list of names, subjects and dates. It is used for locating documents. Index indicates exact location of records.

Indexing refers to the system of preparing index of documents. The documents can be in files, drawers and filing cabinets. Index in an office is prepared to know the location of files and documents. It is a reference list about names, subjects and dates. Indexing is essential for smooth operation of filing system.

Purposes Of Indexing
Indexing is heart of filing. Its purposes are as follows:

1. Facilitate filing
Indexing facilitate filing. An office receives several documents daily. Indexing provides a reference list of files by names, subject and date. The needed files can be quickly identified for proper filing of documents. Indexing ensures speed in filing.

                                  Also Read: Qualities Of Good Indexing

2. Facilitate location
Indexing facilitates easy and quick location of files and documents as and when needed. This helps decision making, planning and control in the office.

3. Facilitates cross reference
A single document can be related to various subjects. Indexing facilitates its cross references. This improves office decisions.

4. Increase efficiency
Indexing helps to increase office efficiency. It saves time and efforts in searching documents. It brings smoothness and promptness in office operations. Working efficiency of office employees increases. Office costs decrease due to increase in efficiency.

                               Also Read: Types Of Indexing

5. Maintain secrecy
Indexing helps to maintain secrecy about office matters. Office files and documents cannot be located easily without the help of index.

6. Systematic filing
Indexing helps to develop a systematic filing system. Filing without indexing is incomplete. Filing system in modern offices cannot be operated without indexing.

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