Office Furniture is an important constituent of a bureau or office. In any plan of business or industry, the first item is of land and building. Only provision of building is not sufficient. Its interior furnishing is also necessary. How the furniture is important in an office? What are the different types of office furniture? Which is good furniture? All such questions are considered here.
Reference to Adminstrative Theories:
(1) Max Weber:
Max Weber is known for his thoughts on bureaucracy. He put forward seven principles of a bureaucratic organization. One of which is about documentation. According to Max Weber, in a bureaucratic organization, there is written rule of conduct. Communication is in written form. It may be inter office or intra office communication, or it may be a communication to and from the clientele, one thing is common - it?s written form. Thus there are lots of documents in an office. For better access to these documents, files are used, which in turn need suitable office furniture. The good office furniture eases acceptance, access, and preservation of documents. In the context of our topic, appropriate office furniture is important for better office administration.
(2) Herbert Simon:
Herbert Simon is known for his administrative thoughts on decision making and problem solving. For taking a good decision, the manager should know maximum possible alternatives. He should know the consequences of his decisions. Good filing enables access to office data easily. Consequently, the manager knows maximum alternatives based on his office data and can take good decision. The word filing is not restricted to the paper files, but includes filing furniture also. When there is large number of files, they are to be kept in cupboard, shelf or specially prepared file stand.
(3) Henry Fayol:
Henry Fayol is known for his administrative thoughts on basic principles management. He identified 14 principles and 5 functions of management. According to Fayol, all managers perform following five functions: Planning, Organizing, Command, Coordinate, Control. Good furniture helps the manager in his day to day functions. E.g. A good table has enough space for keeping files, writing pad, computer monitor, and telephone instrument. Well placed office equipment helps in control and coordination.
(4) Elton Mayo:
Elton Mayo is known for Human Relation Theories. These theories deal with the human aspect. A machine can give steady and uniform output. But this is not possible in case of human beings. They get tired and need rest. After refreshing themselves they can work with better efficiency. In the context of our topic, an office needs resting furniture along with the working furniture. That is why some call centers and similar offices working round the clock have furniture for resting i.e. they have cot or easy chair. Continuous work on computer needs breaks for resting and refreshing, which is achieved by means of appropriate furniture.
Qualities of Good Furniture of Office:
Good Office Furniture should have following qualities:
1. It should be durable.
2. Its cost should be reasonable.
3. It should ease office activities.
4. Employees should feel comfort while using it.
5. It should be suitable to different weather conditions.
Material Used for the Office Furniture:
Classic furniture is made up of wood. Teak wood is durable as well as easy to cut. It is not damaged by water and parasites. Wooden furniture is also made up of black colored sesame and costly rose wood. Modern furniture is made up of plastic and steel. Some times there is combination of steel and wood.
Classification of Office Furniture on the Basis of Location:
Front Office Furniture
Inner Office Rooms Furniture
Office Cubicles Furniture
Conference Hall Furniture
Seminar Room Furniture
Furniture of Managers Chamber
Executives Room Furniture
This special type of furniture makes working and movements of the computer operator easy and comfortable. Executive chair enables quick movements as it can rotate and move. The operator can turn around quickly and can move to another table easily. The computer table has a special drawer for housing keyboard. It can be taken out or pushed inside the table easily. There are built in shelves for keeping papers stationary and USP, Printers, Speakers etc.
Special Purpose Furniture:
As per needs of an organization, special purpose furniture is made available. An advertising companys office needs work tables with pinup boards. Draftsman?s office needs large inclined table at a height of hands of a standing person. Call center and news centers office needs tables having enough space for computer terminals and monitors. Furniture of a workshop of carpenter is kept rough because it is bound to get holes, cracks and scratches. In other words, different professions need different furniture.
Office Furniture of Olden Days:
In olden days there used to be small one foot tall tables. The secretary along with a small table used to seat on a low level cot. In Hindi and Russian languages there is word "Divan" for such cots or sofas. The clerk or the writer used to sit on the Divan with the small table. The table had a slot for keeping ink bottle. In those days, there were no ink pens but the nib sticks.
This furniture has different modules which are joined together of separated as per needs of the user. If an office gets transferred to a new location, the modules can be easily dismantled and reconstructed. Permanent furniture on the other hand cant be changed like a modular one.
How to get Office Furniture:
There are firms exclusively dealing with office furniture. Any good search engine will lead you to the websites of such companies. This was for readymade furniture. If you want to create furniture, there are two options, modular furniture and fixed furniture. Design of furniture is given to the carpenter. The main raw material is available at saw mills in the form of wooden planks and wooden poles. Price is according to the quality of wood. Generally there are four or five types available. e.g. Teak, Black Sissoo, Redwood, Yellowood and the last one is a group of wild variety. The wild variety includes many plants, whose wood is cheaper but hard to cut. On the contrary, the Teak Wood (Tectona grandis) is costly but easy to cut.
Taking care of Office Furniture:
Furniture is treated with polish or paint for increasing its durability.
(1) French Polish: French polish includes alternate layers of resin and color. The spirit present in French polish desiccates wood and thus helps in prevention of parasites. Resin fills up the minutes holes and acts as water resistant. Color gives ornamental effect.
(2) Paint: Paint is made up of oil and color pigment. There is primer or base paint available which is cheaper and which fills up the minute holes to prepare surface for the main paint. Paint makes wood water resistant and durable. It is easy to apply as compared to the French polish.
(3) Fire Proofing: There is chemical treatment for fire-proofing. E.g. washing soda has fire resistant power. Alternatively steel furniture of fire resistant synthetic material is used for making the furniture in place of wood.
Office furniture plays an important role in administrative improvement. Administrative theories put light on scientific and human aspects of the given topic. Different offices need different furniture. Furniture can be classified on the basis of material, location, purpose and use. Good office furniture is durable, efficiency oriented and of lower costs. Polishing, painting and fireproofing are the ways of protecting furniture.
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