The best method for workspace organization
in the small office for maximum team productivity

Some philosopher noted that an order on your table means an order in your head. This saying demonstrates the significance of proper workspace organization. If you have ever delved in the piles of paper, you do understand the difference between the chaos and order on your workspace desks.

Nevertheless, some people claim that the chaotic placement of documents, office tools and other items in the office can be called the working disorder, and it is a feature of creative people. It may be so, but it does not mean that such state of affairs provides high efficiency or productivity of labor. In fact, everything is opposite. People who worship the workspace disorder are usually less effective in their undertakings than those who adhere to a strict organization of things. The other significant point for the proper organization workspace in the small office is an aesthetic appeal. Indeed, an office with a well-defined organization of items looks more attractive than its careless analog.

Well, if we managed to convince you to get rid of chaos in your small office workspace, you might ask how to accomplish such transformation. The web search may offer you some really helpful advice and workspace ideas for the small office, but it is highly recommended to pay your attention to the so-called 5S Methodology.

Table of contents

  1. What is 5S Methodology?
  2. Understanding of 5S
  3. Implementing 5S in different industries
  4. Conclusion

1. What is 5S Methodology?

The 5S Methodology can be referred to a system for optimizing productivity and reducing waste through maintenance of proper organization of workplace. In simple words, this is the methods to deal with the lumber in your workspace.

The term 5S comes from five Japanese words:

  • Seiri (sort);
  • Seiton (set in order);
  • Seiso (shine)
  • Seiketsu (standardize)
  • Shitsuke (sustain)

These five basics are also known as the five pillars of a visual workspace. This methodology suits perfectly to small teams interacting with each other on constant basis within a short-term or long-term project. The 5S organization stipulates the facilitation of operations and reduction wasted time and materials.

As we mentioned, the 5S system was invented in Japan. The popularization of these methods also occurred in Japan, while the famous brand Toyota implemented these ideas in its facilities. However, it should be mentioned that Toyota adopted the 4S approach providing the unification of seiso and seiton methods.

Although 5S was initially implemented in the manufacture, nowadays this methodology expanded to a variety of industries like education, sales, healthcare and many others.

2. Understanding of 5S

You’ve probably already understood the origin of 5S, but a detailed explanation is still required. Each pillar of this workspace organization system provides a scope of actions to increase team productivity and improve the efficiency of workspace for small office. In order to make everything clear, the actions and resulting benefits of each pillar are introduced.

Seiri (Sort)

The main principle of this stage is to get rid of obstacles and unnecessary items. It envisages sorting of your tools and eliminating those that are not going to be used. Seiri prevents accumulation of unnecessary items i.e. reduces the disturbance. The actions related to this stage are evaluating the necessary items according to various factors like cost or usefulness, eliminating the tools that are not in use, removal of wastes, and clearing all working surfaces of obstacles.

As a result of these actions, various resources such as time, space, energy, money, etc. will be used more effectively. Besides, various annoyances and problems can be avoided. The other benefits include the improvement of communication between employees, the increase of productivity and product quality.

Seiton (Set In Order)

We will not follow the example of Toyota and separate Seiton from Seiri. Setting things in order means arranging all necessary tools for easy access and selection for use. In addition, labeling items can be also applied at this stage.

The outcomes of Seiton are the numerous benefits for the workflow including effective time management, convenient location of necessary items, optimized workflow and safety of workspace.

Seiso (Shine)

You can see the items shining only when everything is clean and swept. This is the main principle of Seiso – regular cleaning of a workspace. To achieve the highest results in Seiso it is recommended to make cleaning inspections.

The benefits of this rather important part of workplace organization are the prevention of deterioration of tools and equipment, maintenance safety and cleanness of workspace. Besides, a clean workplace gives pleasure to work, hence, the productivity goes up.

Seiketsu (Standardize)

This stage is a kind of integration of Seiri, Seiso, and Seiton. Seiketsu envisages the maintenance of high standards of any kind of activities in a workspace. Since each process has a standard, this standard must comply.

Seiketsu facilitates the implementation of the above-mentioned pillars of 5S Methodology.

Shitsuke (Sustain)

The last pillar of the best method to organize workplace provides doing without being told. It means that a proper maintenance and organization of order in the working place should become a habit. As a rule, most workers can put things right in their workspace and forget to do it regularly. Shitsuke includes regular audits to ensure discipline and provide training to maintain the order.

The main idea of Shitsuke is to demonstrate that the efforts made for the timely proper organization of workspace provide efficiency to achieve the overall goals of a project or any kind of activities.

Summing up the usefulness of 5S Methodology, the benefits of using all five pillars include lowering costs, raising quality, increasing safety, creating customer confidence, saving different resources and improving productivity.

3. Implementing 5S in different industries

It is a mistake to suppose that 5S method can be implemented in a limited range of industries. In fact, the main idea of 5S is intended for realization in any sphere or any space. If your workspace is a machine, you can follow the five pillars of the method and achieve great results. The same thing relates to small or large offices, stores, rooms in the hospital and other endless examples. Regardless of the size of your company or business, you can make it work better.

4. Conclusion

But let’s get back to the saying of a philosopher mentioned in the beginning of this article. The truth of this saying has been proved by many people in various situations. For this reason, the implementation of the 5S methodology is especially advised for the teams or projects that require an impulse for their activity.

Regardless of your small workspace ideas, 5S is capable of making it a productive and effective small workspace that will provide comfort and convenience to the members of your team. So, clear your workspace, and your mind will shine as never before.

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