Can Shadow Boards Benefit Your Business?

The short answer is yes!

What is a shadow board?

A shadow board is a printed board that aids in organisation by having printed outlines of tools, or other work-related items, to demonstrate where they should be stored.
When used appropriately shadow boards can help to keep your workspace clutter free, clean and more organised as they complement the 5S principles.  What are the 5S principles? The 5S principles are set of steps designed to improve efficiency and productivity, that originated in Japan. These steps when applied to a business model can help minimise wasted costs and boost morale alongside increased efficiency and productivity. The 5S principles translate to:


When applied to a business model this would involve decluttering your workspace and only utilising necessary tools and objects.

Set in Order

All objects have an appropriate place to be stored. This optimises accessibility and reduces the likelihood of accidents occurring due to slips, trips and falls caused by obstacles.


In a workplace this would translate to keeping your work environment, and all equipment, clean and well maintained.


This principle encompasses the sort, set in order and shine principles into easy-to-follow instructions, that are implemented across your business. This allows for the standardisation of these practices across all your workspaces.


To fully appreciate the benefits of the previous four principles, arrangements should be in place to make sure all the positive changes you have made are actionable and sustainable in the long term. Where would you utilise shadow boards? The beauty of shadow boards is that they can be created for almost any location within your business, from office stationery to food specific tools in a food factory to cleaning equipment. Utilising shadow boards in a workspace can cut down on time wasted searching for items, which increases efficiency and productivity within the workforce. This is also further enhanced by tools being easily located on a visibly pleasing board, enabling workers to know where a tool is before they require it. Using shadow boards can help to make it clear when something needs to be replaced before the next time the tool is needed, which saves valuable work time. This is especially important for safety equipment, as all first aid equipment and fire safety equipment must be easily accessible, and ready to use in case of an emergency. By reducing the likelihood of items being misplaced, it also reduces the chances of replacing costly equipment prematurely, thus adding unnecessary costs to your business. Shadow boards present a smart solution to keeping your workspace, efficient, organised and more productive. The visibly pleasing boards are sure to boost morale among your employees and make for a more pleasant working environment all round.