Organize your office for success with the 5S methodology that helps you manage workplace items with visual cues. Developed in the 1970s in Japan, this organizational system helps you sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain items within your office. By keeping your space neat and tidy, you help boost worker productivity because staff members know where to find items and where to return them. Many businesses and nonprofits use this system for internal efficiency, because it shows you areas you need to work on before they become huge problems. The 5S system works well in both the manufacturing and service sectors, and it applies to simple workplace organization in both physical and virtual spaces.
First, sort out the items you use daily, monthly, or less frequently, then keep daily essentials on hand and label and store the other items for easy access when you need them again. The straighten step helps you organize things functionally with visual aids, such as setting up cubbies that hold sturdy colour-coded totes or accept stick-on labels that let you know what’s inside at a glance. Shine means setting regular cleaning schedules to keep office desks, floors, and storage areas neat and tidy, while standardize means putting common rules and work standards so everyone knows exactly what to do and when to do it. Sustain focuses on continuing the system as you mean to go, including regular inspections and requests for feedback that keep everyone accountable. When you implement the 5S system, follow up with staff frequently and take their feedback to heart to fine-tune the process.