The two following sections explain in more detail the associated functions and tasks for each type of office. Later on this article illustrates the most common businesses separating the office environment into the two halves. Sprinkled throughout these sections are comments illustrating the advantages of having two separate office functions.
There is one unique factor separating the front office from the back; it is customer interaction. Think about your dentist. The front office takes your phone call, schedules the appointment, greets the patient, ensures proper check-in and documentation. When the patient departs, the front office collects the fee, reschedule the patient and coordinates any pharmaceutical needs.
The following is a short list of front office duties and corresponding tasks:
In most offices the primary person in the front office responsible for the above is the office manager. This individual may be responsible for up to seven or eight staff to complete the above duties and tasks. Under the office manager’s authority are receptionists, clerks and sometimes interns.
The best advantage the front office provides is a shield to prevent customers from consuming or ‘Bending the ear’ of management and professional staff customarily located in the back office.
The back office gets its name from the historical physical attribute. In most small business environments management and the professional staff are secluded from the noise customarily located near the front door.
It is in the back office where the management team spends their time planning, organizing and controlling the operations of the company. The following is a short list of the back office responsibilities:
The back office is generally separated from the front primarily to minimize disruptions from customers and employees. Most of the back office personnel are paid significantly more per hour than front office staff. Reduced delays allow for maximum efficiency of time.
EXAMPLES OF BUSINESSES WITH FRONT AND BACK OFFICES
* Medical Practices
* Legal Firms
* Accounting Firms
* Engineering Firms
* Manufacturing Operations
* Social Service Companies
* Non-Profit Organizations
Summary – Front and Back Offices
The terms ‘Front’ and ‘Back Office’ are a historical reflection of the physical proximity to the front door of the business. In modern use it also refers to the general tasks associated with the respective office. The front office regularly addresses customer and employee issues. The back office harbors the management team and the professional support staff. ACT ON KNOWLEDGE.
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