Have you heard of the term 5S? It has to do with keeping your workspace in order, and no, that does not mean Sorok, Sembunyi, Simpan, Senyap-Senyap.
5S is a Japanese concept spearheaded by the leaders of the Toyota Motor Company in the mid-20th century to improve production and increase productivity. Moving beyond manufacturing, the system had later been implemented within organisations to make it easier for people to do their jobs more efficiently in a more conducive workspace.
The 5S culture was introduced to the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) last week by the company’s young lead Michael Wong who gave an excellent overview of the 5S concepts and how to apply it MIM’s new working environment. Moving from the 11th floor to the new open concept office on the 16th floor was a significant change for MIMers, and this initiative was set into motion to not only get individuals to clean up their workspace but to drive change within MIM by working as a team.
Michael shared that by the end of the programme he hoped to bring a more visually manageable workspace and productive working culture within the organisation. He also added that the kickoff of 5S was all thanks to the strong backing and support of MIM’s CEO Mr Sivanganam Rajaretnan who empowered Michael and his team to bring in new ideas when implementing the 5S culture in the organisation.
“Many think that 5S is about cleanliness however what it really does is helping to boost productivity. Being mindful about where you keep your items helps to eliminate unnecessary time wastage when searching for something,” Mr.Siva shared while adding that the key to driving this change was the small initiatives done every day which would eventually turn into good habits.
“What we want to achieve from this 5S initiative is best summed up by American football player, Vince Lombardi who said- Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
Faced with a messy workspace? Here are 3 tips you can use to start your own 5S journey:
- Eliminate unnecessary items
Sorting is the first step in the 5S process where you group items according to its importance. Evaluate when was the last you used a particular item, if it was more than a month, consider storing it away instead of having it take up space on your desk.
- Have a place for everything
Once you have identified your priority items, keep them within reach in an orderly fashion. This can be everything from clearly labelling your flies, to keeping your electronic cords colour coded. For ideas check some inspiring office hacks here
3. Build sustainable habits
It’s proven that people tend to be more productive when the first thing they see is a clutter-free desk. Don’t overwhelm yourself, start with small daily habits such as wiping your table with a cloth before going home and move up from there.