What Is Clerical Work?


Quick Answer

Clerical work involves the processing, storing and retrieving of information on behalf of a business or other organization as well as the facilitating of communications. All business activities result in the production of some kind of information, whether this is sales figures, enrollment at a university, records in a lawyer's office or court, or patient files at a doctor or dentist.

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What Is Clerical Work?
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Full Answer

Particularly when most information was recorded on paper, businesses needed people, clerical workers, to make sure that the information could be accessed. A record that cannot be found can become a problem. In a highly technological world where information is more easily stored in electronic form and therefore more easily accessed through computer search, the process of filing and retrieving takes up much less of a clerical worker's time. Now clerical workers can be involved in basic data analysis, such as setting up spreadsheets with financial or other types of information on them. A second critical function of clerical workers is communication, by phone, electronically, on paper and in person. A clerical worker may be the first person in a company an outsider has contact with on the phone or when visiting headquarters. Clerical workers assist their supervisors and colleagues with communication by taking dictation, keyboarding correspondence and crafting certain types of communication. Finally, clerical workers are often the people in an organization who have a great deal of information about how to solve problems because they typically understand how the organization is structured and how work is divided out among employees.

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