A Guide to Work Orders: What They Are & How to Write One

A Guide to Work Orders What They Are & How to Write One

To get work done in your business, you’ll need to know how to write a work order. This document is an official request for work to be completed and provides all the relevant details of the work to be done. Since it’s a formal request, it’s important to learn how to write a work order correctly, so there is no confusion about the work that needs to be done.

In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about work orders: what they are, how to write them, and tips for managing them effectively.


What is a Work Order?

A work order, or a job order or service order, is a document that outlines the work that needs to be done at a particular job site. It is important for both businesses and their employees, as it helps ensure everyone is on the same page regarding what work needs to be completed.

Work orders are commonly used for maintenance management operations across industries. You can also use them for follow-up actions from audits or conducted inspections. A work order form is typically used to request work from an external vendor and work from another department within the same company. 


The Importance of Work Orders

A work order is the heart of any maintenance management system. Not only are they meant for scheduling and assigning job tasks, but they also help monitor the variety of resources you spend on maintenance. Work orders are essential to any business because they help standardize maintenance workflows, optimize productivity, and manage staff and materials more effectively.

In addition, a work order can help improve communication between departments within a company. Having all the relevant information about a task in one place will make it easier for employees to understand what needs to be done and when. This can help avoid confusion and potential delays in work.


Difference Between a Work Order, Work Request, and Purchase Order

As mentioned earlier, a work order is also called a job order or service order, depending on what part of the world you live in—they all mean the same thing. However, while related, work orders cannot be used interchangeably with purchase orders and work requests because they each have different meanings and applications.


Work Request

A work request is a document used internally to request work from another department within the same company. Work requests are typically less formal than work orders and do not need to include as much detail about the work that needs to be done.


Purchase Order

A purchase order is a document to request work from an external vendor. It includes all the details of the work to be done and the agreed-upon price for the work. Once both parties sign off on the purchase order, it becomes a binding contract.


Tips for Writing a Work Order

There are different ways to create a work order, depending on the company’s requirements and the needs of its customers, among other factors. In any case, a streamlined process for work order management will save the business time and money while ensuring that work is completed in a timely and efficient manner. Here are some general guidelines that will help you write work orders more efficiently:


Understand the Work Requested

It is important to clearly understand the work that needs to be done before writing the work order. This means knowing the specific details, such as what needs to be fixed, where it is located, and when it needs to be completed. If possible, it is also helpful to get a visual of the work that needs to be done. This can be in the form of photos, videos, or diagrams.


Consider the Resources Needed

Once you have a clear understanding of the work requested, you can start thinking about the resources needed to complete the job. This includes materials, tools, and manpower. It is important to be as specific as possible when listing the resources needed, as this will help avoid delays in work.


Be Brief and Specific

A work order should be brief and to the point. There is no need to include excessive detail or information irrelevant to the work that needs to be done. This will only simplify the work order and make it more difficult to understand. In addition, all work orders should be dated and include a reference number. This will help keep track of work orders and ensure that they are completed promptly.


Use Paperless Work Orders

While paper-based work orders are still viable, they’re slowly being phased out in favor of paperless work orders. Paperless work orders have many advantages over their paper-based counterparts, including being more efficient and easier to track. In addition, paperless work orders are more environmentally friendly and can help to save on costs.


How to Manage Work Orders Effectively

Work order management can be a daunting task, especially for small businesses. However, there are several steps that you can take to ensure that work orders are managed effectively:

  • Establish clear policies and procedures for work order management.
  • Assign someone to be in charge of work order management.
  • Keep track of work orders using a work order management system.
  • Use work order templates to streamline the work order creation process.
  • Conduct regular reviews of work order management procedures.
  • Create a work order management checklist.
  • Organize work orders by department, work type, or other relevant criteria.
  • Prioritize work orders based on urgency.


By following these tips, you can be sure that your work orders are being managed effectively and efficiently.


Work Order Sample

Here is a work order sample for your reference:


Reference Number: WO-0001


Date: September 08, 2022


Department: Maintenance



  • Fix broken door handle in the conference room
  • Replace light bulbs in the hallway


Resources Needed:

  • Door handle
  • Light bulbs
  • Screwdriver
  • Ladder



  • To be completed by the end of day September 08, 2022.


Purchaser’s Signature: ____________________


Date: ____________________


Approver’s Signature: ____________________


Date: ____________________


This work order may be simple, but it gives you a clear overview of what needs to be done, the resources needed, and when it needs to be completed. And with a work order management system in place, you can ensure that this work order is completed promptly and efficiently.


Use DATAMYTE To Create a Work Order Form

The best way to streamline your work order management is to create form templates that allow you to quickly and easily create work orders. DATAMYTE is a quality management platform that offers tools that let you get the job done at work and establish an organized work order management system. 

The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a workflow automation software that features a form builder where you can create different types of forms—including work order forms. With its drag-and-drop interface, you can easily add the fields needed to your work order form and customize it to fit your specific needs.

Once it’s done, you can save your work—now you have a work order form template that you can use anytime you need to create a work order. And because it’s digital, you can easily share your work order form template with anyone on your team!

With DATAMYTE, you have an all-in-one solution to work order management. Book a demo with us today to learn more about how our Digital Clipboard can help streamline your work orders.



Work orders are essential documents for your daily operations. With it, you can keep track of work progress, and ensure that work is completed in a timely manner. Also avoid disruptions in your workflows. By following the tips in this guide, you can be sure that your work orders are being managed effectively and efficiently. 



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