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1.1. Background to the study

This research is on Effect of modern office equipment on the productivity of workers in an Organization (case study: selected banks in Damaturu Yobe state). For decades now, fast changes have been taking place in all facets of human life including the office environment. This is as a result of technological advancement. Every office in today’s business world, be it government, industry or other human endeavors, require facts and accurate information for quick decision-making. The office worker, including the secretary, expects certain support from the organization into which he/she is employed. This support can be technological (machines and equipment) and human. In offices of past, manager’s dictated memos and letters and secretaries typed them. Most recently, business have developed word processing centers and relied on personal computers and even electronic mail in an effort to lessen the need for secretarial support and make the employee-secretary very productive (Eze, 1995; Okute, 2004).

As a result of changes in technology, the role of secretaries in business has changed tremendously from that of typewriting and shorthand dictation, answering of telephone calls and processing of mails. Today’s secretaries are exposed to office technology including the internet that make work much easier and knowledge more accessible (Edwin, 2011). It is now easier to send messages by telex, electronic mails (e-mails), fax and telephones. Other office gadgets available to the secretary are photo-copy machines, duplicating machines, dictating machines, printers, among others. This is the era of computers and information technology which has become an enabler of greater convenience. Three of the most popular types of computer software programs are word processing, which help the user to write and edit memos, letters and reports, data management programs or databases, which help the user/ secretary to use long lists of data and spreadsheet programs, which handle tables and numbers (Dawson and Boladele, 1999).

Secretaries now have many technologically advanced office gadgets to ease their jobs and enhance proficiency and productivity leading to improved access to goods and services globally (Wofersohn, 2001). There are wide range of office machines and equipment which now enable secretaries to improve their performances. Such new machines take the form of electronic typewriters that have replaced the manual ones. Word processors with milt-purpose facilities, computers and other sophisticated office machines and equipment are now provided by employers. Some of the physical equipment used by secretaries includes computer communication equipment and electronic pocket organizers (Ordu, 1997).  New technological equipment that has altered the procedures and technique for office functions include the computers, electronic mail/ commerce, voice mail, and the Internet.

However, these new developments brought by technological challenges require even more knowledge and skills beyond being a professional secretary. For the secretary to be abreast with the changing times, face the challenges and overcome the old ways of doing things she or he needs training requirements in recent times to help meet organizational objectives. Information technology has affected many professions in recent times. The roles of secretarial professionals have been turned around by technology. It has provided the tools that shift the role of secretaries from that of information recorders to business strategists (Appah and Emeh, Nwosu). Several other authors are of the view that the secretary has to be well equipped to meet the present challenges of a modern office.

The selection of banks in Damaturu Yobe state is key for this study, as its evident that for an organization such as a bank to function optimally, there is the need of proactivity from secretaries in their specific service delivery . The overall goals of banks, is to be a sure place for depositing our monies, also collecting loans and all this are to the benefits of yobeians.  In order to achieve its broad objectives the banks have employed a significant number of secretaries to perform clerical works. This study seeks to examine the level of productivity of the secretaries in the context of modern office equipment’s.

1.2. Statement of The Research Problem

An automated office, undoubtedly, offers new roles and responsibilities for the secretary. Such new roles presuppose that additional training and qualifications are required from the secretaries. The relevance of automation in business was identified by Aromolaran (2003) as follows

i.) Creating a distinct career path for the secretary.

ii.) Automation creates a prominent place for the secretary on the organization chart.

iii.) It creates routine and assigned roles for the secretary.

iv.) With automation the secretary now spends less time in correcting, revising, proof-reading and reproducing documents.

Chukwuemezie (1982), a very long time ago, commented that it takes up to 10 to 15 years between the introduction of new equipment in the market and its installation in small organizations. This is particularly peculiar to private business organizations in developing countries. In modern times, it is not uncommon to find some organizations still subjecting secretaries to the use of manual typewriters. When secretaries are not provided with efficient and effective working tools, productivity is definitely bound to be low.

Duniya (Nwosu) also observed that due to the introduction of sophisticated technological (electronic) office equipment into today’s office and the role secretaries need to play in ensuring accuracy and efficiency in their jobs, the secretaries need to meet the challenges by acquiring new skills and competencies for efficient operations in the electronic office. There is continuous advancement in technology which has affected the secretarial profession in terms of the quality, speed and accuracy of works performed.

This study is therefore undertaken in order to gain understanding about the impact of modern office equipments on secretaries’ productivity at banks in Damaturu, Yobe State.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of Study

The main aim of the study is to examine the impact of modern office equipments on secretaries’ level of productivity at banks in yobe state. Specifically, the research aims at achieving the following objectives.

  1. To ascertain the range of new office equipments existent at the BANKS
  2. To investigate the level of usage of these new office equipments
  3. To identify the level of productivity of the secretaries at the BANKS

1.4 Research Questions

In order to achieve the objectives of this study a number of questions would be explored. Consistent with the topic and objectives the following questions will guide the study;

  1. What are new office equipments?
  2. What range of new office equipments exist at BANKS?
  3. What is productivity and how is it measured?
  4. Does the introduction of office equipments impact on secretaries’ productivity?

1.5 Scope of the Study

Geographically, the study covers the the key banks in Yobe State which are Zenith Bank, U.B.A and Guaranteed trust Bank.. Contextually, the study focuses modern office equipments and their impact on secretaries’ productivity.

1.6 Significance of the Study

To date, just a handful studies have been published that looks at modern office equipments and secretaries’ productivity in African nations and more particularly, in Yobe. This study intends to contribute to a greater comprehension of the subject of matter. From a practitioner’s perspective, the results of the study will provide a benchmark that can be used in assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of new office equipments in an office environment as well as define key productivity factors.  

Finally, this study will provide a foundation for future researches as this will serve as a motivation for many researchers to further examine other aspects of the subject matter.

 1.7 Organization of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one of the thesis discusses the overview of the study, problem definition, research question, research objectives, significance of the study. Chapter two presents all the relevant literature review on waste management and its related concepts.  Chapter three addresses the identification of the most suitable research methodology for this research and chapter four presents a data analysis of findings gathered from the field. Finally, chapter five presents the summary of findings, conclusion, and made relevant recommendations.


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