5S for the Lean Office

Posted by on Dec 13, 2010 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

How much time do you spend each day actually doing your job?  How much time do you waste searching for information, files, etc.  How much time do you waste walking to retrieve a fax, printed copies, and files?  Are office supplies being wasted?  The 5S system is a process that you can implement in your office to remove clutter and make you more productive and efficient.
5S stands for sort, simplify, sweep, standardize, and sustain.  It is an approach to housekeeping that helps eliminate many types of waste that arise from poor organization of processes and physical workspace.  The aim of 5S is to clear up clutter and create a safe and efficient workplace that improves flow and value.
The goals of each phase are the following:
  • Sort – identify and separate the elements for the task.  The goal is to keep only what is required and eliminate everything else.
  • Simplify – simplify the process and workspace.  Neatly arrange and identify processes and tools for ease of use.
  • Shine – means to clean, shine, and inspect the workplace by eliminating clutter.
  • Standardize – require as the norm sort, simplify, and shine activities daily to keep the workplace in perfect condition.
  • Sustain – maintain the changes by training and encouraging workers to form the habit of always following the first four S’s.

The benefits of applying 5S in the office are many:
  • Improved communication between work areas and organizational levels
  • Elimination of clutter
  • Improves employee morale
  • Reduced workflow problems
  • Increased quality
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved workplace safety

5S is sometimes seen as merely an organized housekeeping method, but iit is much more than that.  By implementing it you can reduce the time spent on non-value-added work by up to 25% – time you can use to improve customer satisfaction and meet customer demand.

One Response to “5S for the Lean Office”

  1. Hi Jim,
    This is a great blog. I've posted some example 5S audits for the office if you or anyone is interested. You can find them here: http://www.engagingkcoe.com/blog/operational-excellence/5s-audit-office/


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