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5s System - Effective Organization of Your Workplace - Business Development Tips

07 March, 2016

Business Development Tips - Best ways to organize your company or workplace



Today let’s talk about people who do not know how to organize the workspace to work as efficiently as possible. For those people 5s System was invented in the middle of the 20th century. 

There is a superficial interpretation of this system in some articles. They assure that 5s is almost the same as the regular cleaning of your desk. On the one hand - this is the case, but on the other - 5s System is not just a method of maintaining your workspace clean. 


This is a real philosophy that aims to make any manufacturing and other businesses successful and low-cost.

5s-System-Effective-Organization-of-Your-Workplace -Business-Development
5s System for managing Workplace effectively for successful biz


Short history of 5s System




Economy of Japan greatly suffered during the World War II. This country was an advocate of Nazi Germany, and when the allied forces were victorious over Nazi coalition, the infrastructure, financial and economic systems in Japan were totally destroyed. Despite the bleak prospects, Japanese people did not lose their hearts and began to work harder in order to regain the state as a strong player on the world stage.


As Japan doesn’t have any minerals and fertile soil, the state government has made a bet on the industry and high technology. In order to quickly restore the economy various innovative schemes of organization of the workplace and production processes were introduced. The most effective among them was the 5s system.


The name of this system came from five actions that every employee of the company (whether it’s courier or CEO) should make to organize their workplace most effectively.


Stages of 5s System



Each employee who wants to organize their workplace must perform 5 steps, which are indicated with Japanese characters:




#1- 整理 (Seiri), which can be translated as "screening"





All available materials at employee’s workplace should be divided into three piles: necessary (only those that are used constantly at work), partly necessary (which are used infrequently) and totally unnecessary (they will not ever come in handy).




#2- 整頓 (Seiton) translates as "order".





You need to put things in order at the workplace and what the most important - to keep it all the time. All the necessary items that you uses every day should be available easily and not rested under the rubble trash. In addition, you shouldn’t spend a lot of time to return them to a place after application.




#3- 清掃 (Seisō). This Japanese word translates as "cleaning".





Everything is simple: you should clean up your workspace regularly (every day) to remain it clean and tidy. Generally Japanese employees clean their workplaces three times a day:

-       in the morning: you need to arrive 10-15 minutes before the beginning of the working day to wipe the dust and get ready for work;
-       lunch: usually the lunch break lasts 1 hour, but try to keep it within 50 minutes and spend the remaining 10 minutes cleaning your workplace;
-       end of the day: you should finish the working day with cleaning to spend less time for restoring order in the morning.



#4- 清潔 (Seiketsu) - “purity”, but another translation is more popular - "standardization".



Japanese people are neat and pedantic. If they introduce some system, you won’t avoid step-by-step instructions, written plans, prescribed bonuses for fulfillment of requirements. And indeed, in any case it’s useful to have written job descriptions, that will avoid unneccessary explanations, like "I don’t understand...".


#5- 躾 (Shitsuke), which translates as "education".



As a leader you should not just briefly tell to your employees about some Japanese system implementation at the planning meeting, but you need to explain the staff what you want them to achieve with illustrations and examples as accurately as possible. Also you will need to ensure that they carry out your instructions.



5s System Benefits



This great system is in demand not only in Japan but also in other countries. Thousands of managers have implemented “5s System” in their companies and can verify the effectiveness of it.


Using this system you can achieve:



-       Alignment of indicators on the number of accidents. Very often a mess at the workplace leads to injury and disability.
-       The aesthetic appeal of the workplace, even if your office has simple furnishings and you need to do the repair.
-       Improve the efficiency of the workflow.
-       Reducing the time spent on any given task, and - not at the expense of quality, but at the expense of restoring order at the workplace.
-       Improvement of the working climate.



Think of how much time you spent trying to find the document among the chaos at your desk and how angry you were when you had to return the file to the bottom folder, which stores under a dozen of others. Disorder in the house or at the office has negative impact on the mental state of a person. You won’t get better mood after a long time digging to find what you need.


Try to arrange your work-space following 5s System and you’ll see how much you can do during one working day. It will help you to remain hearty and avoid having hysterical twitching eye during all the day.


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