Working from Home – Staying Organised with the 5S Approach
By: Nicola Balloch
As many of us adjust to working from home, we’re looking for ways to make the transition a little easier.
To help, we’ll be regularly sharing information about different lean tools and techniques that you can implement at home.
First up, we’re going to discuss the 5S Approach to organising your workplace and making it more efficient.
Clutter and disorganisation can slow your progress and make your work more difficult. The 5S give you simple, step-by-step approach to tackle this problem and organise your work-space.
The first step is to Sort (Seiri) your workplace. Identify what tools the necessary and get rid of anything that you don’t need. Start by removing any unnecessary items, such as outdated materials or broken equipment. Sometimes, it helps to classify all equipment and materials by frequency of use to help decide if it should be removed. If there are items you are unsure about, tag them and track how much you use it in a set period (e.g. The next week).
Then it’s time to Straighten up (Seiton). Having ordered storage allows you to find the right item efficiently (without waste). You should have a place for everything and everything should be put in its place. So, identify and allocate a place for all of the necessary materials and equipment. Try to make these places fixed and compact, so it is easier to obey these rules.
The third step is to Shine / Sweep (Seiso). Keeping your work site clean and free from rubbish will make it easier to focus on your work. It is best to make cleanliness a part of your daily routine. Spending at least 5 minutes per day maintaining your work space will ensure that materials are organised and equipment is in working order whenever you need it.
The forth step is to Standardise (Seiketsu) these aspects of your work space. Make rules for yourself about how and when theses tasks will be repeated to ensure you keep up this organisation. Make it easy to spot when things are not as they should be and hold yourself accountable, for example by having a photo of your organised work space on display.
Finally, and most importantly, we must Sustain (Shitsuke) these changes. This is often the most difficult part, as maintaining changes over the long term can be a challenge. In the early stages, you should review your work space regularly and hold yourself accountable for sticking to the rules. Our goal is to make this a habit, so you will always experience the benefits of an organised work space.
If you would like more advice on making the most of working from home, look out for the next post in our working from home series! Or, if you would like to find out how we can help your business or organisation make its processes more efficient during this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to contact us!