Implementation of “5S” in an Office Environment

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The 5S methodology is a set of five terms that stand for sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain. 5S is an ideal tool to recognize important improvements in an office environment to eliminate wastage of all forms. In as much as 5S can be similar to housekeeping, the system is innovative management that enables an organization to adopt policies aimed at the efficient running of an organization’s policies. In addition, the methodology involves a simple implementation plan that does not require technical know-how for its implementation. 5S principles remain an important methodology in office management because it reflects people’s attitudes and behavioral patterns during the change process when advancing a culture of continuous organizational development.

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Advantages of 5S

Since 5S focuses on improving a workplace, its benefits will vary from one organization to another however, some benefits will cut across all institutions especially in the office environment. The 5S program encourages better time usage by the staff in an organization (Visco 1). Ridding a workspace of unwanted materials and organizing proper office equipment and supplies improves workflow within the office (Ortiz xiii). Employees spend little time locating and retrieving what they need and therefore they can be productive in their work instead (Ortiz xiii). Inarguably, workers who manage their time well are efficient and meet their deadlines.

Stabilization of work processes reduces discrepancies, mistakes, therefore improving consistency, and quality of work. By eradicating errors and failures, general productivity can be ameliorated (Dimitrescu et al. 81). As quality control in an office environment begins with proper built proper processes, 5S is important in its implementation (Dimitrescu et al. 83). Prevention of systemic oversights and mistakes by executing a methodical assessment of operations and processes, and improving them where needed form an important gist of 5S (Jackson 89). Truly, consistency and quality improvement always depends on the processes that are established within the 5S methodology.

Furthermore, when 5S guidelines are efficiently applied to an office environment, the staffs’ morale is always boosted. Workers automatically realize that their contribution is highly regarded and their performance is recognized and therefore self-motivation is inculcated in them (Jackson 27). Therefore, the workers take pride in their work and develop delight in improving their office. When the workers are constantly engaged in discussions about areas that need improvement in their work, they automatically feel incorporated in running of the office affairs (Visco 58). Reward programs that are part of the 5S principles bring extrinsic motivation and therefore the staff are motivated to excel in their assignments (Visco 59). Undoubtedly, all types of motivation that workers need to effectively perform their functions are well incorporated in the 5S methodology.

Implementation of 5S

The first procedure in the implementation of 5S is the sorting process. The task involves a series of steps that are majorly geared at keeping a tidy and organized workplace. Sorting involves checking all the desks, shelves, cabinets, files, equipment, and storage areas in the office. (Singh and Deokar 2). Of the greatest importance to sorting is the red-tagging procedure which entails filling the 5S red tag with the office team to ensure any clutter is removed (Singh and Deokar 2). Notably, sorting activity, by the nature of red-tagging enables the organization to keep track of any office item that has been kept.

Next to sorting is the set in order approach which ensures that any office elements are easily accessible. As the name suggests, the objective of this particular process is to organize the office environment (Willis 35). One of the activities that are done in the set in order process is to build a 5S map that provides an overview of the office workspace, the common areas, the corridors and work stations (Willis 35). This step makes it easy to find, use and return any equipment especially those that are found in the common areas.

Thirdly, the shine approach follows immediately because it depends entirely on the elaborate plan of the set in order. The shine process involves systematic cleaning of every part of the office workspace (Dimitrescu et al. 83). Cleansing is performed through a daily wipe down and a once-a-week thorough mopping. However, every office employee is tasked with cleaning their workstation including wiping the office equipment such as computers in their possessions (Visco 3). Evidently, the shine step does not become the sole responsibility of the maintenance staff or the attendants alone. Therefore, for the approach to yield the best results, each office worker must bear personal responsibility for their own working space.

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While the first three steps of implementation of 5S produce short-term benefits to an office workspace, the fourth procedure of standardizing complements them to bring a long-term outcome. The 5S map that was made in the set in order is then integrated to the new standard for the office space area (Jackson 82). Similarly, the criteria that were used for red-tagging in the sorting process are also written to form part of the standards (Jackson 90). Additionally, audit and maintenance programs are discussed and formulated including the advantages along with the assessment of the audit form and scoring (Visco 52). Though the standards are well written and communicated to the office workers, it does not mean that they cannot be changed in the future of the business.

The fifth procedure of 5S’ implementation is sustain which is pegged on the concept of upholding a commitment to the whole program in its entirety. Key to its execution, the office team is made to sign the 5S banner (Visco 59). Then, some visual management reminders are enacted through the office paraphernalia to remind the staff to perform the 5S activities daily. Also, the office management team establishes the 5S status communication mechanisms and also creating a Communication Board for the program (Visco 59). Lastly, a rewards and recognition initiative is developed to motivate the office team towards the implementation of the 5S approach (Visco 59). Through successful implementation of the sustain process, upholding standardized procedures get engrained in the normal operation of a commercial entity.


In conclusion, the 5S concept continues to be an important abstraction in an office environment as it mirrors people’s viewpoints and behavioral patterns during changes that mark sustained organizational growth. Notably, the main purpose that is served by the 5S methodology is to organize an office workspace. The first step of 5S concept mainly involves separating between what is needed and what is not from an office environment. The second procedure of the 5S principles entails putting everything in its rightful places. Cleaning and discerning ways of maintaining office space cleanliness automatically form the core item of the third step in 5S principles. Further, the last two procedures stress adherence and self-discipline to the first three principles of 5S. Therefore, the 5S’ settings of a work area are evaluative to workers and are the basis of clients’ first intuition.

Works Cited

Dimitrescu, A., et al. “Impact on Quality of Production Using 5S Method.” Journal of Research and Innovation for Sustainable Society, vol. 1, no. 1, 2019, pp. 81-86, Web.

Jackson, Thomas L. 5S for Healthcare. CRC Press, 2017.

Ortiz, Chris. The 5S Playbook: A Step-by-Step Guideline for the Lean Practitioner. CRC Press, 2016.

Singh, Komal, and Akshay Deokar. “Effects of 5S Implementation on Performance of Organization.” International Journal of Business and General Management (IJBGM), vol.7, no. 6, 2018, pp. 1-14, Web.

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Visco, David. 5S Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing and Sustaining Your 5S Program. CRC Press, 2017.

Willis, Drew. Process Implementation through 5S: Laying the Foundation for Lean. CRC Press, 2016.

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