Using 5S to Make Your Workplace More Productive

5s productivity

You want to be more productive, to do more things quickly, but with better quality of work done. In large part, our own productivity will be based on the workplace where usually we do our job.

How you can organize your office to become more productive?

Yes, you can increase your productivity simply by organizing stuff around you to be better accessible by you.

Do you find yourself in a position when you lose your time to find a physical item around you in your office? Do you find yourself in a position when you spend too much time to find a document on your computer?

If your answer is yes, then you really want to reorganize your working environment.

In this post, I want to talk about methodology that can help you in organizing stuff in your workplace.

What is 5S?

5S is workplace organization methodology developed in Japan and primarily used in Lean manufacturing. The name comes from a list of five Japanese words starting with the letter “S”.

  • Seiri – Sorting.
  • Seiton – Set everything in order.
  • Seisi – Shining or cleaning.
  • Seiketsu – Standardize.
  • Shitsuke – Sustain.

How You Can Use 5s to Increase Productivity?

5s is a process using 5 different phases need to be implemented into the workplace.

First things need to be as first. You don’t want to improve something that is not needed into your daily working routine. As a first you need to start with the Seiri, sort everything around you in your workplace. Sorting means to find everything around you and eliminate everything that you don’t need in your work. Use following question to help you start with the sorting:

  • What I have around me in my working place?
  • Do I need it?
  • What items I need to eliminate?

When you eliminate everything that you don’t need, and you know how important is a specific item that you need, you can start making order (Seiton). Make a place for everything and everything should be in its own place ensuring easy availability when you need specific items. Answer following question because they will help you in this phase:

  • How much important is a specific item for my work?
  • How much times I use each of the items on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
  • Is the item on the right place?
  • What I need to do when I need a specific item?
  • Is it the movement that I make when I need a specific item optimal?
  • Is the place where each item is placed is the right place for my working routine?
  • Where each item will be placed?
  • How the places will be labeled?

Now, when you eliminate everything that you don’t need, everything has their own place, and everything is in its own place you have much better workplace around you. Next thing that you will need is cleaning routine (Seisi). Clean work environment is much more productive than disorganized and dirty workplace.

At the end of each workday you need to clean your workplace in such a way that everything will be on its own place, prepared for your tomorrow use.

A key point is that cleaning and restoring should be part of your daily work routine. If you use this phase only occasionally, your workplace soon will become again messy, disorganized and dirty.

When you know what you need, where it needs to be placed and how to keep things organized and clean you need to standardize that work practices (Seiketsu). This methodology is not one-time show that you will implement and forget. You need to standardize practices from the first three S into your working daily routine. In such a way, you can easily and quickly improve your workplace to be more productive.

Once, when the first four S is established and implemented as something normal in your daily working routine, you will need to check and review the process to find the better ways to organize stuff around you (Shitsuke). Find what’s the best time to review your standard procedures to maintain and improve your workplace.

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