5S in the Office - a disaster waiting to happen

A customer reached out to me the other day to ask if there was a 5S rule on employees having pictures of family members on their desks and work area. Her guess was that it's not allowed. 

Talk about the potential for giving 5S a bad name. Wow! "it's not allowed?!" This goes to a much deeper issue regarding the benefit of 5S in the first place: To provide an environment that removes wasteful processes while improving safety and quality and adding value for the customer. 

The fact that someone has the "not allowed" tied to anything 5S is a concern. I explained to her that there is no ONE 5S standard. If developed properly, standards are designed and agreed upon by the Team with a constant focus on improvement. I added that if they decide to instill a culture where family photo's aren't allowed then so be it BUT to be aware that this would likely send the wrong message regarding 5S.

One customer of mine actually has an office standard where nothing is allowed on the window sills and people can not have more than 3 pictures on their desks. For the record, I noted during my tour it wasn't being followed very well.

What are your thoughts or experiences regarding 5S in the office especially concerning pictures and standards for the work space? 

Best wishes,

David Visco

5S Best Practices


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