1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In today’s corporate world people spend more time in their offices or workplaces than in their homes. It is therefore of great essence to note that the structure, shape and design of an office impacts wholly on productivity, as such the physical office environment must be given the needed and appropriate attention. An organization’s workspace, that is, the physical environment of an organization provided for employees to carry out their work activities, constitutes the second largest financial overhead after human resources for most organizations (McCoy & Evans, 2013). Numerous studies have consistently claimed that characteristics of the physical office environment can have a significant effect on behavior, perceptions and productivity of employees. Therefore, Human Resource Executives need to consider new strategies for recruiting and retaining best fit talents for their organizations. Higher salaries and compensation benefits may seem the most likely way to attract employees. However, the physical workplace environment may also have a strong influence on a company’s ability to recruit and retain talented people. Factors in workplace environment must be considered as key elements affecting employees’ engagement, productivity, morale, comfort level etc. both positively and negatively. Many organizations have lost great fortune because employees complain that unfavorable physical office environment caused their inefficiency. It is therefore imperative to conduct this study to understand the effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance. The provision of a suitable physical office environment though depends on the functions or duties performed by the office, the ability of management of organizations to provide apt office environment for office secretary may contribute positively to the productivity of the organization by maximizing efficiency, effectiveness, motivation, and also decrease absenteeism. Broadly a suitable physical office environment or accommodation should consider the choice of location of building and office equipment, size, and office layout. Also factors such as ventilation, lighting, places of convenience, space for future expansion, and availability of required staff, among others, are to be considered. 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 their location, safety measures medical care, relationship among the members of staff and the boss remunerations and other social welfare recognized to the 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 invariable 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 the include, office building and layout, furniture and equipment the physical conditions under which the secretary operates – lighting, heating, ventilation, decoration, sound proof measure, safety measures and such social conditions as relationship with members of staff and boss remuneration and welfare package etc. If management do not understand and provide adequate, apt, physical office environment, efficiency, effectiveness and most importantly productivity will fall. People are very happy to have a job, but many of them no longer feel that their workplace is a second home, although much of their time is spent in the office. This often leads them to feel forced to accommodate with the uncomfortable environment. An employee's workplace environment is a key determinant of the quality of their work and their level of productivity. How well the workplace engages an employee impacts their desire to learn skills and their level of motivation to perform. In a world of increasingly global competition among companies and even among countries; the good performance of human resources is needed. Researches (Suwati, Minarsih and Gagah, 2016) have shown that the main goal of work for someone is not only to get the salary, but to reach self-satisfaction. Job performance is influenced by a lot of aspects such as: motivation, work environment and leadership in the agency. Regrettably, office environments are not without impediments to these lofty aims, the problem is not lack of the institutions and firms, but the poor environment delivery and poor management of the owners. Hence the study examines effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Every organization is a combination of people, it might be logical that people’s performance is, as a consequence, organizational performance (Huselid, 2012; Bin Dost, Shafi and Shaheen, 2011; Solomon, Hashim, Mehdi and Ajabe, 2012). In other words, poor performance, or the failure of people who undertake diverse tasks in the four-walls of work is logically the reason for institutional failure. Generally, it is believed that when an environment is not conducive, a worker cannot discharge his/her responsibilities as efficiently and effectively as expected. This is stated in the study of Tella, Ayeni, and Popoola (2015) that well-managed organizations usually see median workers as the root sources to gain quality and productivity. Such organizations look to employees not to capital investment, as the fundamental source of improvement. To achieve such improvement there is a rising need to make employees satisfied and committed to their jobs, at the diverse levels, departments, and sections.In effect the fundamental duties of a secretary are highly prejudiced and jeopardize by an averse and unstimulating environment. Today, there are many problems encountered b secretaries resulting from poor work environment which greatly affect their job performances. Amongst these is lack of private office. Secretaries most times share offices with other staff, some of which lack basic amenities befitting her status. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. To examine the nature of office environment
2. To examine the physical office environment factor affecting secretary’s job performance
3. To examine the effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance
4. To examine other problems in the office environment militating against effective job performance of secretaries
5. To examine the relationship between the office environment and secretary’s job performance
6. To recommend how best to improve the office environment for the smooth operation of secretaries if it has any serious effects on their job performance
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the nature of office environment?
2. What is the physical office environment factor affecting secretary’s job performance?
3. What is the effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance?
4. What are other problems in the office environment militating against effective job performance of secretaries?
5. What is the relationship between the office environment and secretary’s job performance?
6. What is the best to improve the office environment for the smooth operation of secretaries if it has any serious effects on their job performance?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There are is no significant effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance.
H1: There is a significant effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance.
H0: There is no significant relationship between the office environment and secretary’s job performance.
H1: There is a significant relationship between the office environment and secretary’s job performance.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be of profound benefits to enlighten the people on the present and picture career secretaries whose welfare is being agitated. It is hoped that management will consider some of the recommendations proffered in this treatise and improve the office conditions of secretaries so that they will have cause to smile. This study would also be of immense benefit to students and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to examine the effect of office environment on secretary’s job performance.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
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 her work or after training.
Secretary: This can be defined as somebody who has a unique ability to keep secret information also has a special quality to communicate with different classes of people and the communication channel between her organization and the public as a whole.