How a Clean-Desk Policy Helps Promote Security

13 July 2016

Do you know what “hot desking” is and has your Knoxville business ever considered it?  If you’re unfamiliar with the term, this process basically means your staff doesn’t have specific seating or assigned desks; rather, each employee has the ability to move throughout the office during the day, working in different areas of the office as they see appropriate. That said, the only way to make this environment work for everyone is if desks are kept clean and free of clutter.

In regards to a Clean Desk Policy, the two approaches go hand-in-hand, which makes it much easier to maintain clean desks in your workplace.  A Clean Desk Policy requires employees to keep desks free from sensitive records that include private information, such as business documents, notes, post-its, or any other files considered to be private. Computers should also be powered down and password protected for security reasons, and any removable media, such as CDs, floppy disks, or memory sticks should be removed and securely stored away. A Clean Desk Policy is favorable for any business, as it promotes a positive company reputation for those visiting your Knoxville business, and most importantly it reduces the risk of data breach and information theft; both of which can occur in a messy and unsecured work environment.

Clearing desks at five o’clock is key in maintaining this policy, but employees are also encouraged to be conscious of information security from the beginning to the end of their work day as well.

paper shredding

Here are a few more ways to promote security through a Clean Desk Policy:

Take the Lead: Management needs to be involved with all aspects of the policy. Since upper management usually deals with the majority of confidential data, it’s critical that all executives are diligently following the policy in an effort to set an example for employees to do the same.

Ensure the Policy is in Writing: Be sure there is a copy of the policy available online through your internal business management program, or on your website. Consider assigning an employee to carry out random inquiries to confirm that desks are in fact clean and free of business documents; if you are doing this, just be sure that your staff is made aware first. You may wish to look into disciplinary measures as well, such as advising HR if there are any concerns. Alternatively, some organizations may wish to award employees who successfully follow the policy.

Use Ongoing Reminders: A Clean Desk Policy checklist should entail office reminders that reinforce adherence. Place memos in regards to the policy online and in common areas around your office, where employees are bound to see, such as in your lunchroom or boardroom. Lastly, hire a document destruction company such as ShredPro Secure, and we’ll  supply you with lockable security containers, allowing you to conveniently store documents in, prior to collection for shredding.

Reduce Paper Use: Encourage your employees to records information electronically; this not only helps the environment, but it also helps keeps mess at a minimal. Consider sharing files without printing them. Run office finances through the web. Also consider using online services for carrying out surveys and arranging meeting; this is an excellent way to limit paper. Scan documents and send them out to your employees as PDFs. Keeping paperwork at a minimum in the office will make it much easier for employees to maintain a clean desk.

Maintaining a clean desk improves productivity, improves compliance, and reduces your risk of experiencing a data breach. Contact the team at ShredPro Secure in Knoxville, for additional information about this popular policy and how our document shredding services can assist in establishing one.

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