Office administration is about controlling over all the departments activities in an organization. Its a process which handles day-to-day operations of an office. This department helps other departments on their work. They do centralized work for other departments. This department is supervised by office administration manager.
They have to deal with typing service, maintain the records, and look after office supplies like stationeries. Under pressure in other departments they assist perform as general reserve force. (Whitehead, 1973)
2.0 Introduction of island offices
Island offices are the local organizations in each and every island to work on the development and organizing in order to contribute to the government in over all development of the Maldives. Because of the new technology and new system government is following these offices has evolved, by its structure, responsibility, empowerment and technology. In earlier days they were not able to provide the efficient services, the services were limited. Basically in an island office there are maximum 8 members. Most of them were working as island chiefs, while there were few people to do administrative works. (mohamed, 2011)
This report is based on Noon Velidhoo island office. When they started the services were not having all the facilities and technologies. There were two administrative officers and a single administrative officer as low level workers. As top level ones there were an island chief and two vice island chiefs. (Mohamed, 2011)
2.1 Roles of island offices
This offices work for the development of the island and serve them on behalf of government. They provide services like housing planning, registration work of houses and property of people and Issuing birth certificates and licenses. In earlier days when police stations where not there in the islands, island offices take the responsibility of that. Further more urban development, waste management and organizing the social activities to improve awareness among the people.
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In earlier days some of the services were not available from island offices due to lack of sophisticated equipments and technology. For example they were not having the responsibility of issuing birth certificates because they were not having machineries and technology to do that. So Atoll offices were responsible for that till the year 1991. Last year (2010) they started to issue National identity cards and registration certificates and licenses through atoll offices. (Mohamed S. , 2011)
3.0 The island office workers role in the past
They provide several services with the limited equipments and technology. There were maximum 8 workers including island chief. Two administrative officer and two secretaries were low level employees in the office. Other than the island chief there were two more vice island chiefs. At that time responsibility of island chief was to organize, control and monitor the vice island chief’s works. As well as work on projects of the government. One of the vice island chief job was to taking the responsibility of housing planning and registration. Another one was responsible for financial sector or budgeting. Furthermore he was the one responsible for cleaning and maintenance system of the island and responding to other offices and government. In addition to that both vice chief guests were responsible for monitoring administrative officer’s work. The communication follow was downwards. (Mohamed S. , Roles of office workers in the past, 2011)
Administrative officers and secretaries are responsible for respond to customers, note their complains and report that to top level managers. In addition to that they have to do all the paper works which top managers assign them to do. Works like writing letters, passing massages and making certificates and licenses. Furthermore they are responsible for maintaining records filing them. (Mohamed s. , 2011)
3.1 Evolution of the roles of island office workers
As the democracy was introduced very recently. Government has decided separate Maldives as provinces. So the island office structure has changed. Where the island chiefs were replaced by a council consists of more than five members. This is contributing development of the island evenly. Before decisions was taken according to the island chief. Whereas now the decision was taken according to the majority of the council members. In the future the island office has taken much more responsibilities of the island and public as the technology was introduced the working environment is more comfortable and with sophisticated equipments the administrative process are faster and more convenient. The small tasks they used to do now do by a single process which saves time. For example, the paper works were typed by the type writers which take a lot of time. E-mails fax and other software’s increase the speed of information. Administrative workers role haven’t changed. But unlike before now they have to be aware of computer because their role or the work is depended on it. (Siraj, 2011)
4.0 New technologies, Equipments and furniture
This new era’s technology has industrial organizations, made workers job easier, faster, comfortable and much more convenient. Working environment has large capacity. Office is air conditioned. Ergonomic furniture in the office, equipments is available which is necessary for their work. A sustainable environment has created for workers.
4.1 New office equipments and technology
In the early days when there were no computers, office workers used write and note things by their hand. Later on when the type writer was available they started typing using type writers. When computer was introduced one computer was in the office. Workers couldn’t work properly using one computer. But now the office is computerized. For every worker there is a computer which is connected to internet. Now instead of posting letters they send e-mails to the offices and government. Unlike previous they find no problem of delivering the information’s. In the offices they used Walkie talkie as a telephone. It is a two way Radio transceiver. They used it to connect islands. But most of the time it’s unable to get network clearly. Telephone has made workers life simpler. They can connect and easily communicate with people even from long distance. Using fax machines and scanners even improved their work. Faxing became more popular when internet was not available. Still in island offices fax machines are used frequently.
When office has to pass any emergency message, earlier days they used bells to inform citizen. And they will come near office. Nowadays they use mega phone which has high sound that people can hear while they are in home. (Mohamed S. , New office equipments and technology, 2011)
4.2 Modern office furniture
In the island offices early days they used to have wooden chairs, table and cupboards. Workers feel so uncomfortable and even had health problems as they were not ergonomic furniture. But now in island offices we can see ergonomic chair and table which is suitable for workers. This changes has inspired workers to do their as they find comfortable while working in the office. (Mohamed S. , Changes is office furniture , 2011)
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5.0 Island offices in future
As the government plan is islanders get all the facilities from their island or at least from their atoll office which government provides through Male’ offices. Islanders would be able get several services from island office itself or within the atoll. Which means island office workers and the council members would be with much more responsibilities. So they have to do more administrative works. The administrative officer complains that there are very few workers in lower level. So they find difficulties to manage works. So in the future they will need more administrative workers. The island office would be evolving with the new technologies. (Siraj, Changes to the office and workers in the future, 2011)
6.0 Conclusion and recommendations
Island offices serve public on behalf of government. They control and organize Whole Island and try to develop the island. The technology has brought various changes to the office, equipments, workers and their roles.
The councils will bring massive changes to island office workers roles. More responsibility means more employment. So island offices will require employees to do administrative works. Because of these offices citizen would be further benefitted.
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