1.1 Background of the Study
It is a well-know fact that different places of work apparently have peculiar tools that are appropriate and which lessen the difficulty of work at those places. When an appropriate and standard tool in used for a certain job, the output from that job more often than not appears to be very good and satisfactory and in most cases, the exercise is usually performed within the shortest possible time,. Take for instance, peasant farmer who uses hoes and cutlass in his farming activities, he will surely have less farm produce when compared with a mechanized farmer who uses mechanized equipment, such as planter, tractor, insecticide, at cetera in his faming.
Similarly, a roadside mechanic can not perform excellently like his counterparts who has well-equiped modern workshop.
In the same vein, therefore, secretaries will perform better when an office is automated, having modern machinery, the products of technology such as computer, photocopier, facsimile telephone, Electronic mail (E-mail) et cetera to perform secretarial function.
Business world is becoming more complicated and challenging. Things move fast and for any business to survive and breakeven, performance for one’s task cannot be done manually any more. In Nigeria there has been a lot of innovations and technological development in the last twenty years. When one thinks of technological development in the office, new innovation in term of automated office usually come to the mind. New innovation of offices such as computer data communication and micro graphics, data processing, computer and word processing equipment have the work of the secretary.
However, it is note worthy that some offices find it difficult to afford modern office equipment and are therefore, forced to stick to the old equipment such as:- manual typewriter, Roneo Machine and so on to perform secretarial functions. This explain why secretarial work in such organisation seems tedious and the output usually look poor as a result of substandard office equipment employed in the process and not necessary the fault of secretarial staff.
Every organisation needs a competent and effective secretary. It is essential to note that the competency cumulates the efficiency of any secretary, which depends on the type of office equipment at her disposal.
No matter the level of qualification and experience of a secretary, if her office is not automated i.e equipped with standard modern office equipment, her degree of efficiency and productivity will be far below that of her counterparts in automated office in term of quantity and quality.
Amongst term used to describe an automated office include “The office of the future,” “Integrated office system,” “Office information communication system.”
This technology development is referred to as the “Third wave” and therefore started to undertake massive technological change the result of which is obvious in the successful ones that are now really prospering in their business. Tom 1984
Offices, Today, are fast changing technological and as a result working in an office is now far more existing and stimulating than it has ever been. With the introduction of modern technology, business no longer suffer setbacks in terms of increased productivity, speed and accuracy Automated office or office automation. therefore, can be said to have been facilitating the work of the secretary rather than causing unemployment’s thought same people No wonder an extract from the Cambridge training Associates (1982) “what also can a secretary do?” state that the work of the office stay, the same but the way it is been carried out is changing fast. Electronic aids are not so much causing unemployment in offices, often, they expand the range of skills and duties which offices workers have, Although, some features of secretarial works are still the same things like routine typing all day. Doing the same letter over and over again., sorting mailing list by hand are being taken over by machine skills on the word processor and problem solving when it misbehaves, for example, it may not have happened to you yet, but it is coming and on the whole, it makes the job a lot more interesting and gives full recognition to secretarial skills.
Fulon,eatl (1978) also agree with the above assertion when they say another changes that has occurred in the secretarial field is due to technology today. They went further to say that much routine work that was done by secretaries in the past is now done by the cassettes typewriters (word processing equipment which is manufactured by IBM, Xerox and Savim) can play back recorded materials at over 500 words a minute computers which can receive information perform mathematical computations and print out report at high speeds have been developed Data transmission device can send and receive information to and form a location which is thousand of miles away, electronic calculation perform a variety of mathematical operation with speed and accuracy. Due to these sophisticated machines and the continued research and development in the electronic field, the secretarial job has, and will continue to be upgrade.
Furthermore, technology advancement in the world of communication needs to be mentioned. We now have fax machine (fasimile) which has virtually replaced telex also Electronic mail. (E-mail) via internet, which is more suitable for sending large written document with minimal cost. There is now secretarial set telephone system which allows the secretary to talk with the boss while the outside caller is on hold.
This enables the secretary to sieve caller, to allow the boss to concentrate on her tight schedule. Modern technological invention has developed such as telephone that has facility for holding conference in which case people can discuss without necessarily gathers in one place.
The major benefits of an automated office to both the secretary and the organisation include increased productivity, greater efficiency and reduce operational cost. In this regard, the impact of automated office on secretarial service is very much appreciated.
Although, the tremendous importance and advantages of automated office cannot be over-emphasised, nevertheless, it cannot be taken totally as a replace of human being in the office because human beings have to set the machine in motion to perform certain functions. Deyer (1980) “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men, but no machine can do the work of one extra-ordinary man” It is therefore the intention of this research to find out “the survey of the implement of an automated office” on secretarial service in organisations