A clean office can boost productivity and morale, and for this, several methods were created, such as the Japanese 5s. The 5s include: Seiri (sort), Seiton (systematize), Seiso (sweep), Seiketsu (standardize), and Shitsuke (self-discipline). Let us look at the 5s much deeper and find out how we can apply them to keep our office neat and tidy.
The Ford Motor Company in Japan was the first to use the 5s. They used it as a lean manufacturing tool to help maintain cleanliness and organization in their facility. Through 5s, the company increased its productivity and reduced the risk for injury of its employees. And since then, 5s was adopted by different businesses and industries. And today, we are going to apply the 5s in cleaning an office. It is necessary to perform the 5s in order as each step is related to the other.
The 5S + 1
The first step is Seiri that translates in English as sort, meaning to separate functional items from the unnecessary ones to discard later. Consider its purpose and the frequency of its usage when sorting through the clutter.
The remaining necessary items from sorting will then undergo Seiton or systematize or set-in order. Identify functional storage that is accessible for your officemates. To maximize Seiton, also evaluate the layout of your office.
Once all the clutter is now well-organized, it is now time for Seiso or to “shine or sweep” the work area. Seiso also pertains to maintaining the organization of items by performing regular inspections and spot checks.
The first three steps will ensure that your workplace will stay organized and clean in the short-term, while Seiketsu or “standardize” will keep it that way for the long term. Seiketsu involves crafting policies and guidelines to ensure adherence to the 5s, such as creating checklists, charts, and labels and signs.
The 5th step is Shitsuke (discipline or sustain) or making the 5s a commitment or a habit done by everyone in the office. Incorporate series of training for old and new employees and performance evaluations to ensure the practice of 5s.
There had been an addition to the 5s recently known as the 6th S, which is Safety. The 6th S is doable in between each of the five steps. It involves eliminating risks and hazards for occupational health.
Benefits of Implementing 5s In Your Office
The 5s had positively contributed to the performance of many companies, and the following are the benefits you can reap by incorporating 5s in your office cleaning habits:
- Elimination of waste can lead to less wasted space.
- Safe work environment so fewer costs for work-related injuries.
- Increased employee morale leading to increased productivity.
- High quality produced by implementing standardized procedures and guidelines.
Now that you are familiar with the concept of the 5s (6s) methodology, it is now time to practice it. An effective office cleaning is one built through habits, and 5s can help develop that in your workplace. How do you get started? Determine individuals involved, training, and the tools needed to help pave the 5s implementation in your workplace. But more than that, you should be committed to providing a clean, organized, and safe workplace for your employees.
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