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Ask the Expert: Spring cleaning with a Clean Desk Policy

Posted  April 09, 2019  by  Lynn Brown

Spring is in the air and with warmer temperatures approaching, individuals will be cleaning out their closets and garages to get ready for the summer months. With this mentality, why not take advantage of this time of year and spring clean your office with a new and improved clean desk policy?

This week, Shred-it’s Ann Nickolas, SVP of Sales, is sharing her own tips that her keep office neat and tidy throughout the year that will hopefully offer you some inspiration as you go about your spring cleaning routine.

What are a few of your spring cleaning rituals at the office?

I personally love this time of year. It’s a good time to re set and organize your office. Over the years, I have picked up a few tips and tricks that help me stay organized. First, I go through the hard copy files in my locked desk drawers, and shred all the documents that I no longer need. So many files are stored away in drawers that end up collecting dust.

Secondly, as a team leader, I always make sure that my team has the most up to date education on information security protocols and data breach prevention tips. With Millenials joining the workforce, it's interesting to note that our 2018 Security Tracker Survey found that this age group was the most at risk of being a victim to identity theft. Updating staff training is important so that everyone is aware of the risks.

Finally, I never leave the office without cleaning my desk. An easy way to make this a regular routine is to implement an office Clean Desk Policy that rewards employees for cleaning their desk regularly.

What is a Clean Desk Policy and how can others implement one?

A Clean Desk Policy is as simple as it sounds. It is a policy that requires all employees to clean their desk before they leave work at the end of the day. Here are a few easy steps to help you implement this at your office.

  1. Put it in writing! In order for employees to implement this routine, you will need to explain to them why it is important and the consequences for failing to comply with the policy.
  2. Senior leaders must be good role models and demonstrate why this policy is important. That’s right – no matter how senior you are, you should not leave work without cleaning your desk.
  3. Provide your employees with the necessary equipment to make this routine easy to implement. You should provide your staff with lockable storages and the proper technology to regularly backup their files.
  4. Select an individual to monitor and implement this policy. Without proper enforcement, these policies tend to be easily forgotten.

For those who work remotely, how can they prioritize information security?

With the rise of the remote workforce, organizations need to increase training and education that targets these workers. Remote workers need to be aware of wandering eyes in coffee shops and communal workspaces. They should be encouraged to change electronic device passwords regularly and to not leave these devices unattended. Individuals who travel for work need to be reminded to shred boarding passes and files that are no longer needed.

To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents, please contact us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.


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