Office Practices

Course CodeVBS102
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

This course provides invaluable information for anyone who has never worked in an office environment before.  It will guide you through the basics and enable you to work in an organizational office, or set up your own.


Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Scope of office work
    • procedures
    • the home office vs commercial premises, etc.
  2. Communication Systems
    • Using the phone
    • business letters
    • faxes
    • couriers
    • postage, etc.
  3. Writing Letters and Reports
    • Structure of a report
    • memos
    • writing business letters.
  4. Computers
    • Scope & uses of computers
    • types of computers
    • software
    • peripherals
    • word processing
    • CD Roms, Modems
    • setting up and care of a PC.
  5. Office Materials and Equipment
    • Stationary
    • Office furniture
    • Paper specifications
    • Filing & record keeping etc.
  6. Office Organization and Procedures
    • Office layout and organization
    • security.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Office Staff are the Face of the Business
Anyone who works in an office will be communicating with the businesses clientele; and it is critical that they present well.
It is important to develop ongoing work relationships with established clients to ensure the continuity of further work contracts. Obviously, the quality of the work you provide and the results achieved will go a long way to securing future work, but you can also enhance the likelihood of further work through building trusting relationships based on mutual understanding, and satisfying your own needs and those of the client or organisation.  


However you choose to develop networks and collaborate with others to gain work in the future, it must be genuine. If a client or another consultant thinks that all you think about is potential business, they may not be so receptive towards you than if they think you are genuine about achieving results and are good at your job. 

Some of the personal attributes and other factors that will influence relationships with clients are as follows: 

§       Sincerity

§       Honesty

§       Professionalism

§       Efficiency

§       Good time management

§       Knowledge

§       Awareness

§       Staying up to date

§       Showing good personal qualities to engender their trust

Of course this list is not exhaustive, there are many other factors. Like personal relationships, building a relationship with a client starts with establishing trust. If you say you are capable of undertaking a project then you need to demonstrate that you can do it. If you say that you will begin on a certain date at a certain time then you need to uphold this arrangement. If you build a reputation with a client for being trustworthy and reliable, even if your work is not the absolute best, you are more likely to win a contract over someone who is a genius at what they do but continuously lets the client down.


Another aspect of building relationships with clients is to keep your presence in their minds. You can do this inviting them to receive your own newsletters, ezines, and so forth. If you add a new product to those you sell, or if you add a new service, or update your prices you can also send this information to past and present clients. If you are going to conduct a workshop, present a seminar, or do a talk - once again make sure your clients know, and invite them along. They might not attend, but you have reminded them that you are still available for work should they require someone with your skills.    

Whilst solid working relationships rely on trust and networking, you also need to be able to deliver when it comes to the work itself. Do not take on contracts which are too far removed from your area of expertise. You could ruin your reputation very quickly. If you are selected for a particular contract and your knowledge of the work in hand is a little rusty, or it is on the fringe of your usual work, then you should do as much research in advance as you can. This might involve consulting with colleagues, contacting people in your network, undertaking library or online research, and so forth. As the old expression goes - forewarned is forearmed. That is, if you know what you are in for you can prepare for it. 


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