Looking to Improve Your Security Measures in 2020? Start a Clean Desk Policy

Looking to Improve Your Security Measures in 2020? Start a Clean Desk Policy

organized workspace


If you’re familiar with Alpha Waste, you will know that we are a leading supplier of recycling and waste bins in the UK, offering clients quality products that make recycling convenient, easy, and cost-effective. What you may not know however, is that we also provide an array of security bins as well; specifically, for the secure collection and disposal of your sensitive business documents.

Why Can’t Files Simply be Recycled?

Paper itself isn’t the issue of course, but when you consider the nature of your business documents, you can bet that at least 75% of these files contain critical private details, that could be damaging if exposed. Throwing these away with your regular recycling means you can instantly expose data to the public eye, that could be used to carry out criminal theft or fraud if the wrong individual gains access. The risks are simply not worth it.

The Other Issue?

Unless you are regularly recycling or shredding old files you no longer need, they can pile up without you even realizing it, and fast! We’ve all been there; there is no recycling bin or container close to our desk and we simply don’t have time to determine what to keep and what to throw out. Our workspace is becoming flooded with endless paperwork, so we make a nice piled stack at one end of our desk until we have the energy and time to deal with it properly. Sure, they aren’t scattered across our desk any longer, and it’s a quick temporary solution but it is one that immediately causes unnecessary clutter. Most importantly, it creates security risks for your staff and business.

With the right bins available in arms reach, you can keep your desk from becoming messy and unorganized and at the same time, maintain security over your important business files. If you didn’t know this already, business owners have a legal obligation to uphold in relation to maintaining privacy over sensitive paperwork.  Turning to those who can provide you with the resources and tools to make this a reality is in your best interest to stay compliant with these laws.  Information theft is increasingly on the rise and businesses and consumers need to remain proactive to protect themselves from falling victim.

Many companies have their own individual policies in place with the goal of reducing the risk of information exposure to unauthorized hands. What is the most common and universal policy however, that is practiced throughout many of these organizations? The Clean Desk Policy. The benefits of this policy are truly invaluable and it’s a policy that is takes very little work and training to implement.

What Does a “Clean Desk Policy” Entail Anyways?

Essentially a Clean Desk Policy, requires office desks and computer monitors to remain free from documents or otherwise confidential material, before leaving for the day. The main purpose behind this policy is to remind employees that an organized system such as this, protects documents from slipping out the door mistakenly, or from getting lost all together.

Whether they are disposed of in a security bin, locked away in a cabinet or shred professionally, all that matters are that they are not left out in plain sight. A Clean Desk Policy keeps clutter at bay and it’s an excellent step towards greater security measures.

How Will it Help My Business?

Clean Desk Policies can offer many benefits to your workplace:

  • Increases Data Security Levels

This is the biggest benefit. By requiring that all documents be stored out of site securely, when employees are done work for the day, the risk that private documents could be exposed to unauthorized persons, drops dramatically.

  • Lessens Employee Stress

You can limit stress and wasted time by ensuring your file system and paper-flow remains organized and quickly accessible. Having a Clean Desk Policy motivates your staff to be more conscious about where information is being stored; knowing this ahead of time makes it less stressful to locate a file when it’s required.

  • Information Can be Located Faster

This goes hand-in-hand with reducing employee stress; when employees are aware of where files are stored, time management is much more effective and there is far fewer headaches associated with locating information. Your staff won’t waste unnecessary working hours searching frantically through endless files.

  • Keeps the Office Looking Professional

First impressions are everything. If you have a potential client coming in for a meeting and the first thing, they see upon visiting your office is mess, garbage, files scattered across your printing station or workspaces, this doesn’t exactly send a positive message. In fact, it might be enough to turn this client away from working with you. Keep your office welcoming, organized and secure and it will communicate to potential clients that you care about your company and those involved.

Tips for Success

A Clean Desk Policy has the potential to improve the efficiency and security of your business considerably, but as with anything, it must be put into place and communicated to your staff in a manner that they accept and understand. Here’s how you can achieve the proper communication:

  • Always put a copy of it in writing
  • Make sure it includes thorough details, but not so detailed as to cause confusion
  • Use accurate and simple language
  • Focus on the importance of the policy, both internally and legally (if applicable)
  • Consider adding a reminder of the policy to employee email signatures

After the policy has been implemented successfully, it is smart to stress test the policy and assess the outcome to see whether the policy is being adopted and is having any changing effect. Workplaces are unique in multiple ways and tailoring your policy to fit the needs and expectations of your workplace might be necessary.

Document Shredding for Your Clean Desk Policy

As mentioned, in too many cases files are either left on desks or tossed in a recycling bin, posing an immediate security, red flag. Remember that any confidential paperwork which makes its way to a recycling bin defeats the purpose of having a Clean Desk Policy to begin with. Documents are highly susceptible to theft when left in an open recycling bin as anyone can reach in and rummage through its contents if they are so inclined.

Make sure your documents are disposed of securely in the proper shred bins. Consider contacting Alpha Waste to discuss your container needs with our team. We’ll help you determine the type and amount of security bins you might benefit from to make your Clean Desk Policy a success. Our product line consists of small desk-side bins, to large consoles and carts depending on your requirements and budget.

Reach out today to schedule a no-obligation consultation in the New Year! We look forward to working with you.

Call 01634 838 540