Clean desk

Clean desk policy: How this simple policy can aid your productivity

What exactly is a clean desk policy?

A clean desk policy is where employees are directed keep desk spaces clear and tidy at all times. But rather than simply making the office look good it also makes it easier to place specific emphasis on the management and protection of sensitive information. For some a clean desk just indicates that someone isn’t busy enough. Or could it be that a tidy desk equates to a tidy mind, or is it simply better to just embrace the chaos and get on with it anyway? Dependent on your personality you might take either view but there are certainly plenty of good reasons to implement a clean desk policy.

A Clean Desk Policy helps improve your working environment and protect your company in many ways, including:

  • Data protection law compliance – All organisations are legally compelled by the Data Protection Act to protect the personal information of employees, customers, patients, pupils. Leaving sensitive information lying around on desks does not comply with the stipulations of the act, indeed the penalty for which can be a fine of up to £500,000.
  • Data breach risk reduced – Anything that helps to protect sensitive information from unauthorised view has to be good practice. The fines for a security breach that leads to information theft or fraud can extend into millions of pounds in fines. The knock on effect can also mean loss of business through damage to reputation and trust within your chosen industry.
  • Negating insider fraud – If the information your company deals with is particularly sensitive and has a value outside the business, insider fraud can be a tempting situation for some. Taking the opportunity away, prevention rather than cure, is a good sense approach to the potential issue.
  • Saving resources – In conjunction with a clean desk policy, a review of the use of printed matter might also be relevant. Cutting down on the use of paper can provide big savings and help the environment at the same time. Limiting the use of paper documents also makes the management of sensitive data easier.
  • Create a positive environment – Whether improving office aesthetics is something everyone feels is important or not, there’s no doubt that clear and tidy workstations can have a positive impact on employees. Coming in to work and not having to deal with a pile of papers in front of you has to be a positive for state of mind. It also looks more pleasing and organised should you receive visitors too.
  • Better time management – If only because it means that it is easier to find important pieces of information, rather than wading through piles of papers, a clean desk policy can save time. It’s also more professional if you need to refer to a certain piece of information during a phone call if you can immediately go to it and solve the issue.
  • PMA – Your positive mental attitude improves when your working environment is uncluttered and less stressed. Time can be spent on things other than searching for missing data and utilised far more productively.

How do you go about it?

It’s one thing deciding to implement a clean desk policy but how do you go about implementing it? It’s important to make the benefits clear to employees through written communication. The policy should be clearly documented and installed in conjunction with all affected workers.

Where the protection of data is concerned this policy should also work alongside a review of secure storage facilities to ensure that printed matter that does exist is effectively protected. Security arrangements for settings and passwords related to computers and electronic devices should also be reviewed. Even during a visit to the toilet or trip to get a coffee should computes and paperwork be secure. Systems in place for the disposal of obsolete information should also be reviewed to ensure best practices are observed.

As always, Lanonyx is here ready and available to take all your calls regarding all things Call Recording and Call Logging related, you can contact us here, or give us a call on 0333 0022 440 and one of our friendly team will be on hand to help.

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