This research work, “the effect of poor office environment on the job performance of secretaries” was carried out with the overall aim of finding out the efforts of poor office environment on the secretary’ job performance. Federal polytechnic Oko was used for the study. The data for this study was collected through the use of questionnaire and direct observation. Responses to the administered questionnaire were analyzed in tabular forms using simple percentages. The outcome of the study proved that the depressing and unstimulating nature of mot offices hence a far-reaching negative effects on the overall job performance of secretaries. Equally, small floor space and congested nature of some offices do not give the secretary adequate comfort and balance to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently. Other problems include poor remunerations, lack of necessary equipment and noise proof devices in most of the offices. Based one these findings, the researcher recommended that offices should be stimulatingly and comfortably furnished so as to encourage productivity and boost the morale of the secretaries. There should be enough floor space and if possible, separate rooms to avoid over-crowding and cluster of materials, which make an office to look shabby and depressed. The management of the Institute should establish a financial motivating scheme to its workers and in particular the secretaries in order to boost their morale and encourage them to stay in their employ. Equally, necessary office equipment and stationery should be provided to the secretaries.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The work of a secretary is very delicate and confidential and as such, a healthy office environment is necessary to enable her discharge her duties efficiently. An understanding of the office environment in the enhancement of a secretary’s morale vis-à-vis her job performance is necessary in every organization. Generally, office environment has serious impact on the job performance of workers. The office and its appearance, condition of work, materials available and other location, safety measures, medical care, relationship amongst the members of staff and the boss remunerations and other social welfare recognized to be main elements of work or office environment which directly related to workers moral and willingness to discharge their duties effectively.
The secretary is an indispensable staff and as such, management has to place high priority on how best to motivate her. The nature of work environment invariably has direct effect on the morale and state of health of a secretary, hence her general performance in the discharge of her duties. The office environment thus influences the volume and quality of work interest and happiness of a secretary. Office environment in the context of management has been defined to include office building, layout furniture and equipment, the physical conditions under which the secretary operates – lighting, heat, ventilation, decoration, sound proof measures, safety measures, social conditions such as relationship with other members of the staff and boss, remuneration and welfare package, etc.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Generally, it is believed that when an environment is not conducive, a workers cannot discharge his/her responsibilities as efficiently and effectively as expected. In effect, the fundamental duties of a secretary are highly prejudiced ad jeopardized by an averse and unstimulating environment. Today, there are many problems encountered by secretaries resulting from poor work environment which greatly affect their job performances. Amongst these is lack of private office. Secretaries most times share office with other staff, some of which lack basic amenities befitting her status. All these problems will be investigated in this research and solutions proffered.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to investigate the following
i. The effect of a depressing and unstimulating nature of the office. Environment on the secretary’s job performance.
ii. The effect of small floor space and congested office surroundings on the secretary’s job performance vis-à-vis her attitude to work.
iii. Other problems in the office environment militating against effective job performance of secretaries.
iv. Recommended how best to improve the office environment for the smooth operation of secretaries if it has serious effects on their job performance.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will in particular benefits the present and future career secretaries whose welfare is being agitated for. It is hoped that management will consider some of the recommendations proffered in this research work and improve the office conditions of secretaries so that they will hence cause to smile. Management on its own will benefit from the study since it will enable them to understand the job performance of their secretaries and try to boost their morale by improving their condition of work environment. Finally, this research will help in non small measure to reduce the death of the literature in this field of study.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. Does the depressing and unstimulating nature of most office environment hence negative effects on the job performance of secretary?
ii. Does the small floor space and the congested nature of an office affect the secretary’s attitude to work?
iii. Are there sufficient air- conditions and floor covering in mot offices of secretaries and what effect do they have on their job performance.
iv. Are there adequate and regular remuneration to secretaries?
v. To what extent does the secretary relate with other staff in the office?
1.6 SCOPE /DELIMITATION
This research work centres on the effects of office environment on the secretary’s job performance. Its scope has been specifically narrowed to the physical and social environment under which secretaries work in the federal Polytechnic Oko. However, the researcher met a lot of difficulties while conducting this research. Foremost of which was the time factor. The time frame under which this work was carried out was very short in addition to his numerous class assignments. There was also the problem of uncompromising attitude of the respondents in filling the questionnaire used for the research. Finally, financial constraints made the researcher, incapacitated to broaden the horizons of this research work.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
OFFICE ENVIRONMENT: This refers to the physical and social working conditions under which secretaries work, comprising office buildings ventilation, lighting, heating, decorations, furnishing, relationship of staff in the office, remunerations, etc.
JOB PERFORMANCE: This is the productivity or output achieved by the secretary. It is also the quality or quantity of work which should be attained by the secretary on a certain job. The job performance is found in appraisal and training to assess a secretary either in his/her normal works or after training.
SECRETARY: This can be defined as somebody who has a unique ability to keep secret information and also has a special quality to communicate with different classes of people and also the communication channel between his/her organization and the public as a whole. Also, she has an understanding of the significance of typing documents, taking shorthand, correspondence, reports and instructions, which pass through their heads, relieving the executive of work, which otherwise she would have to do it with her initiative.
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