My Zen Workplace: Effective and Efficient Workplace Organization.
I think workplace organization is a rather salient issue in corporate culture management but even more so in our daily lives at the office. Creating and maintaining a workplace that promotes effective and efficient process flow. How many times have you felt flustered by the clutter on your desk or how the invisibility of naira-versus-dollar file aids the impossibility of filing the naira-versus-dollar document? Shoot! That sounds like that one week, last month, at the office. I’m a big fan of Eastern management practices and it seemed the right resort for inspiration on how to effectively organize my workspace. In this article, I’d like to share a few tips.
The 5S is the basis of the Toyota Production System. It is coined from the Japanese words that begin with S – Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set), Seisho (shine), Seiketsu (Standardisation), Shitsuke (Sustain). It was aimed at leaning their manufacturing processes to eliminate wastage (especially of time which is a key measure of effectiveness and efficiency).
S#1. SORT Go through your drawer and the trays of paper-pile on your desk to sort the garbage from documents/material that you consider still valuable. While keeping the items you might be unsure of closer to you, move the less useful or meaningful materials or garbage to an area you will now reserve for “Garbage Area”. Without mincing words, we are throwing them away. Don’t hug garbage.
S#2. SET The second of the 5S tool is also known as “Set in Order” where you basically arrange your items in designated areas that will make things easier to find. This makes for efficiency because now you don’t have to waste time looking for where to find items. “Once there is a place for everything, everything should be in its place.”
S#3. SHINE Clean your workspace. Keep it tidy daily and always. Philosophically, a tidy environment clears the head and allows for inhibited workflow.
S#4. STANDARDISATION Ensure this order is maintained daily. Make it a rule to be followed by anyone working in this area. Don’t allow a clutter to spill into the next day.
S#5. SUSTAIN Over a period of time, try to look over the area and see if it is still keeps to your rules. This is about the hardest “S” as it entails commitment. It is a continuous process and there is always room for improvement so feel free to be innovative, time to time. If things get chaotic, it can be expected. What is more important is that you review your progress and repeat the 5S process all over again. I’ve found that it helps to reward yourself when you go through with this process.
The 5S tool has been helpful to me at my workplace and I truly hope this message reaches the heart of your work life too.
“A place for everything, everything in its place. “ – Benjamin Franklin
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