General Office Practices & Procedures

by Pheori Wiley; Updated September 26, 2017

Ever wonder what kinds of things people do in an office? Need to know how to run an office smoothly? Every office has a set of rules, guidelines and procedures that have to be done every day. Organization and repetition is a major part of it. You have to do certain tasks daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly in order to make sure that everything is updated and good to go for fellow employees and customers alike. Communication is the key in every successful office.

Bulletin Boards

It is always good to keep an office organized and tidy so that when you are looking for specific things, you don't have to do much to find what you need. The idea for the practice of using a bulletin board comes from a list of general office procedures used by Yuma Conservation, which is a successful business that uses a number of office procedures and practices to keep things running smoothly. According to this list, a bulletin board can not only help employees but can also be beneficial to customers; you can place information and share it through bulletin boards.


At almost every single office, there is a calendar somewhere in the vicinity. It is extremely helpful when you want to schedule meetings and even company picnics and things like that. According to Yuma Conservation, this can also be helpful when it comes to your employees and your customers. In most offices, every employee desk or work area has a calendar for scheduling. While this may not be procedural, it is good practice to keep a schedule and adhere to it in order for the office to run smoothly.


It is always good to make sure that every employee has a unique username and password to log into their work desk computer or other office computers. This becomes important because it gives you a method of keeping other employees and non-employees out of your systems as well as allowing for computer usage tracking. Software for the security of company computers should be able to provide adequate antivirus, encryption, data loss prevention, intrusion prevention systems, firewall, and email security. Symantec and McAfee are a couple of popular computer security software providers.

It is also good practice to make sure that your desk doesn't have sensitive information on it that other employees or non-employees can see. When you are away from your computer, you should make sure that you sign out of your computer and close any open files. Security is the most important part of a company's successful operation.

Computer Maintenance

Computers play a major role in an office. Depending on the company using them, they can be the most important equipment for employees. They may contain sensitive material and information such as customer information, product information, employee information, and company information. That is why it is important to have security on them--such as antivirus, encryption, data loss prevention, intrusion prevention systems, firewall, and email security software--to make sure that information that is potent is secured where no unauthorized person will be able to access it. Internet and email usage should also be restricted to work purposes only.

Because these machines are so important, keeping them maintained in terms of cleanliness and overall computer health is vital as well. Procedures may be put in place for daily clean-up and shut-down at the end of the work day. There may also be procedures set in place for monthly check-ups from the IT department. The use of a disk defragmenting program or disk cleanup software on a regular basis will aid in maintaining the health of the system.

Files and Records Management

Keeping backup records of everything is only going to benefit you in the end. Keeping backup files can be handy just in case something ends up happening to the original files. Being able to put the files back up is a great way to maintain an organized company. Procedures can include making hard-copy back-ups of digital files, making secondary copies of hard copies or storing a back-up of digital information in an online location for retrieval later.

Petty Cash

There are a number of expenses in an office environment and the use of petty cash has become a widely used practice. There are regulations involved which pertain to its use and items that are allowed to be deducted from the petty cash monies. An example of the usage and policies regarding petty cash can be found on the Georgia Tech website. The business office procedures manual gives some general guidelines that are on par with the procedures and policies of most offices that offer petty cash. According to Georgia Tech guidelines, petty cash is for small needs which should not exceed $200. Purchases must be of items on an approved list or made according to approved guidelines.

About the Author

Pheori Wiley is a freelance writer who has written articles for Helium and Associated Content, among others. She has been writing professionally since 2003 and has used her knowledge of programming, Web development and auto repair to share in her writing what she learns from her day-to-day adventures.

Photo Credits

  • Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media