March 05, 2021
Although the work-from-home (WFH) trend has steadily increased over the past decade, the pandemic has sent it into overdrive, with wide-reaching business implications. One particular area that’s evolved relates to the volume of work-related papers printed in home offices. According to a recent Shred-It survey, 75% of employees print work-related documents while working from home. With the rapid growth in remote work, it stands to reason that the volume of paper being generated outside the office is on the rise.
Work-related documents often contain confidential and sensitive information. And because of this, the typical methods for disposal—throwing papers in the trash or recycling bin—are not appropriate. Unfortunately, nearly a quarter of people who print work-related documents at home use one of these two methods for disposal.
When employees do not throw paper-based information away correctly, it increases the chances that sensitive data like social insurance numbers and credit card information can be stolen and used for nefarious purposes. Improper disposal can also lead to compliance violations that result in expensive penalties.
Despite its importance, many companies don’t address WFH document shredding in their information security policies or staff training. For example, 42% of small business owners don’t have a policy for how to properly store and dispose of confidential information when employees work offsite. The statistics are similar for training. Over quarter (30%) of C-suite leaders and more than 50% of small business owners reported having no regular employee training on information security procedures or policies.
There are a several options available for people looking to securely dispose of paper documents to maintain information security of their business and personal information.
If you opt to work with a shredding company, cheque that it offers a secure chain of custody that documents waste handling from the moment paper leaves your home office until it is completely destroyed in the facility.
You should brush up on your company’s secure information policies to find out how you should handle confidential document disposal while working offsite. There are many options available, such as taking them back to the office for shredding, arranging for residential paper shredding, or dropping them off at a nearby paper shredding company. If you choose to take papers back to the office, make sure you store them in a secure, locked location, such as a drawer or cabinet, until you are ready to go back on-site.
To ensure you fully dispose of confidential material, you may want to follow a Shred-it-all policy—where you shred every paper document you generate during the workday regardless of whether it contains sensitive information or not. This way you don’t have to determine what needs to be shredded. You can handle all paper the same way. Not only does this make paper disposal more efficient, but it also reduces the chances a confidential document will be overlooked and thrown away incorrectly.
Learn more about how Shred-it can help you safely and securely dispose of business and personal documents.