Office automation – definition and meaning
Office automation refers to using computers and software to carry out clerical work and other office procedures. We use office automation for filing, documenting, correspondence, communication, and many other office functions.
Office automation helps optimize office procedures. However, automation is gradually replacing humans. In other words, it is putting people out of work.
Some people argue that while automation kills some jobs, it creates others. For example, it boosts employment in software companies and computer manufacturers.
BusinessDictionary.com says that office automation is the:
“Application of information technology to the typical clerical and secretarial tasks such as communication, correspondence, documenting, and filing.”
Office automation – a popular term
In the 1970s and 1980s, the desktop computer came onto the scene. Soon, the term office automation became popular.
Business leaders, accountants, and office managers were extremely excited about automation. People were especially excited about the following benefits:
– With office automation, the team can accomplish several tasks significantly faster.
– It does away with the need for a large workforce.
– The storage of data is much more efficient. Consequently, companies can get rid off all those filing cabinets.
– If there is a change in schedule, several people can update data at the same time.
Office automation – payroll
Automation has accelerated the speed at which payroll procedures occur in the office. Nobody has to cut checks manually anymore.
Today, thanks to computer software, offices print salary checks automatically.
Banking software means that we can transfer money into people’s accounts automatically. There is no longer any need for manual processes.
Employees who participate in direct deposit get their paychecks earlier than before. Having to wait for somebody to write their checks, and then for the check to clear, took time.
Talk Business says that office automation is similar to home automation. However, there is more emphasis on computer and digital automation in office systems.
The aim in automating office procedures is to reduce the workload for humans, thus allowing for more creativity.
Office automation – cloud computing
Offices today are turning more and more to cloud computing for their requirements. The term ‘the cloud‘ means the same as ‘cloud computing.’
The cloud is an online storage facility. With the cloud, you can store and share data throughout the office, thus reducing the need for physical storage space.
Using the cloud is more secure than storing your data physically in an office. By keeping everything in digital format remotely, there is no risk of people breaking in and stealing things.
However, in this digital world, criminals have adapted. We worry less not about thieves breaking into our premises, and more about hackers breaking into our systems.
“The cloud can enable connections between different people or departments in an office to be forged much more easily.”
“The cloud enables them to communicate with each other, and have easier access to documents, allowing for multiple to work on and make changes to documents without it ever needing to take a physical form.”
Video – Office automation 1979
In this video, a lady talks about her work at a social security office. She was excited about how computers, in 1979, were boosting efficiency.