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Office is the place where people carry out the daily work of their businesses. All the work is done by the support of management policies and co-ordinate the role of various department and sections. Office is the most important part of the organization. Because office provides the base to the organization. It is where all the administrative work of the organization carried out. Employees can meet face to face, so they can enjoy professional and social interactions during their work. To do their work requires suitable environment and sophisticated technologies.
Now in modern world due to the rapid growth of technologies significantly effected on office work place. As computers replace the typewriter, servers replaced the bulk files, punching machine/card machine replaces the huge register, email and voice mail eliminates stackable "inbox" and telephone massage slips and many more. In other word we can say that the technological inventions bring the "evolution to the role of office workers".
roles of office workers
An over view of the past
"The locally oriented American economy of the early 1800s did not need offices as we know them today. Business was run then much as it had been run for half a millennium. Goods were made, transported, and sold. With the help of a few clerks, merchants ran their small companies as family businesses." (education, 1998) .As the article says in past days the organizations are too small and very difficult to maintain the administrative works. Because of the equipments and technologies used in those days. In those days office environment is not so flexible as today. Because in early days office means a secretary and a clerk. They will carry out their work in a small room. They will do all the works by hand. Eg: writing letters and documents through hand, keeping financial records in huge log books, to keep all business records in huge files.
2.2 factors enforcing to evolution
In early 1800s the time offices were born they use very limited equipments and technologies in their work. They use typewriters as main equipment in office to carry out the administrative works like preparing documents and letters. But this type writer brings a lot more easer to do the work in the organizations and government offices. Because it is more suitable way to type a long business document rather than physically writing though the hands. Most of the organization started using it when the concept of "scientific management" developed in the 1880s. During these days most the clerical works are engaged with typewriters. And they are specialized in typing trough typewriters.
Telephone brings an evolution to the way of communication. "Since the telephone was first demonstrated in 1876, it has evolved into a vital communications tool, providing the gateway to the world of computer technology and information exchange." (education, office equipment, 1998). Business organization started using telephones to contact with their suppliers. It found more suitable way to send message than sending messages through hand or in mail.
Facsimile or fax machine was invented in 1842. It sends a photocopy to another fax machine through telephone cable. It is highly used before email was invented 1843 to 1990. But in this present day also fax machine is use by some organizations. Computer is the most important equipment in the office today. "It is hard to imagine conducting business without computers. Each day, millions of people working in offices and homes around the world depend on computer technology to do their jobs efficiently and economically." (office equipment, 1998). In each and every office environment we can see patterns of computers in all departments. But why? It has a valued reason because in present information age all the work office workers in every department is engaged with computer and computer software's. And mostly all the modern technologies used in offices are under computer control. Eg: account department use special software to carry out their work, punching machine used in offices to mark the register of employs is linked with computers in hr department. Computer play biggest role in evolution of office work.
"When the internet and World Wide Web burst upon American since in the early 1990's, this new form of digital telecommunication forced me to rethink the relationship of information technologies to organization." (Foutain). Internet brings office work more easily done effectively. As it help to find more information about the business environment and competitors. And it helps to communicate throughout the world more easily and fastly at cheaper price. World Wide Web or internet is using in every organization today. Through web pages people can share the information to world. And anyone who wants to advertise the product can advertise through web pages.
An email is web based mails through that allows sending files or message to anyone around the world from computer which is connected to the internet. Now in this present day most of the organizations depend on email to communicate with suppliers, customers and between departments.
Punching machines is used in offices to maintain the registers of workers in office. Every worker need to place his or her fingerprint on that machine when he or she arrives to the office. So the machine will report to the hr department's computer through sophisticated software so hr people can recognize who are late to the office and who is not coming to office. Then hr manager can talk with employs who are repeating the same mistake. Due to the invention of punching machine it create a lot easier to human resource department. Because it eliminates the huge register which is manage physically by hand.
"In most offices of the 1990s, personal computers are linked to one other through internal--and often external--networks. This "networking" allows employees to gather information from a vast array of outside sources (particularly the World Wide Web) and to share it quickly with their colleagues, outside business partners, and customers." (education, computer networks, 1998). Intranet or computer network in office is very common technology used in big organizations as to communicate between various departments. It is a privacy network which other outside users can't enter. It brings an easy and comfortable method of communication to the office workers.
Global Vs local
Globally most of the organizations are adept to new technologies and changes in their office environment as well as to the work. There are using the modern technologies to increase the work speed and to increase their productivity. Some international manufacturing companies have stated doing their own researches through research and development department by using modern technologies to invent new ways of production and new technologies. Nowadays the office environment also has been changed from privet cabins to the open floor in order to create a better environment where all the workers can enjoy social and professional interaction. As well as they can share ideas and knowledge. So it helps to new inventions and new ideas. Because of open office environment seems more equality as managers and CEOs are working with their staffs. So it helps managers to supervise and coordinate the works of staffs. "The 1990s workplace has become lean and mean, opting for smaller and less private spaces and more powerful, versatile technology. The walls are tumbling down: Managers and even some CEOs who once presided over their employees in large, private, wood-paneled offices have moved onto "the floor," joining their subordinates in a maze of cubicles meant to foster equality, increased communication, and teamwork." (education, offices today, 1998).
Due to the evolution of office work Maldivian organizations also have been started using the modern sophisticated technologies. In order to find the easiest ways to the workers, and increase their productivity. Most of the privet offices are using latest technologies like punching machines as a register and CCTV cameras as security systems and much modern software's to do the administrative works. The new government of Maldives is also implementing modern technologies to the government offices. And the president also advising to use modern sophisticated technologies which are more environments friendly.
Technologies will change as the world is going on at the same time the role of office workers will change and it will be much more easily in future than technologies which we are experiencing today. When we are talking about the modern technologies mean time we have to think about changes and new ways to do works. In other words we can say try to innovate our self's. We have to get experience from old technologies and try to develop new ones.