“The more papers, folders and notes on the desk, the more efficiently an employee works” – this statement is not quite true. After all, most office workers know how easily in the piles of papers spread out on the table the necessary documents, phones, diaries, pens and notes get lost. Often a paper writer, journalist as well as a simple office worker can face such a problem. We know effective ways to deal with it.
The Japanese have succeeded in improving the labor efficiency of office workers and middle managers. It turns out that in addition to high-tech, the Japanese are first-class specialists in terms of optimizing production in all areas of business. They use every opportunity to increase profits and thus reduce financial, time and labor costs. In particular, the streamlining system – “5S” is especially popular in Japan, America and many European countries. According to this system to improve the efficiency of daily, routine office work should follow the following recommendations:
Divide all items of the working environment (folders, forms, magazines, writing materials) into three categories: necessary, not necessary and not necessary urgently. The unnecessary ones are to be put in a far away drawer. The necessary ones are kept at the workplace. Those not needed urgently are placed at a certain distance from the workplace or stored centrally.
Allocate and assign each employee’s area of responsibility. It is best to define in writing which employee is responsible for what and what work they do. Even better, if the stages and essence of the work will be described in detail and step by step. In this case it will be enough for a new employee to read the instructions and follow the rules, and not to spend the time of other employees on teaching the newcomer.
Maximum visualization (use drawings, diagrams, icons, pointers, color coding instead of text where possible). And these signs should be the same for all employees in the office or at least the department.
Sign or label document storage areas (e.g., “Documents in Progress,” “Drafts,” “Blank Forms,” “Documents for Signature,” “Documents for Archive,” etc.).
Follow the rule that the first document to arrive is the first to be processed.
Ensure freedom of movement around the room. No more piling up boxes and folders. They can be stowed away on the mezzanine of cabinets or placed on wall shelves.
Make a rule – only those papers that you are dealing with at the moment. The table should be clean.
These not-tricky rules can be supplemented by your own ideas, but one way or another, they form the basis of the world famous and widely used system of optimization of any office.