Improve Your Internal Security with a Clean-Desk Policy
Have you heard of the term “hot desking” and has your Houston organization ever considered trying it? If this is an entirely new term for you, essentially it’s a process in which your staff are not limited to assigned seating or desks; rather, employees have the option to move throughout the office as they wish to perform their specific job duties. How can this be done successfully? The only way this type of office environment will be effective for your Houston organization is if all work stations are kept organized and clutter-free.
A Clean Desk Policy goes hand-in-hand with hot-desking, so it’s extremely important to consider this policy if you’re toying with the idea of “hot desking”. A Clean Desk Policy requires that employees keep desks free from material that is sensitive in nature, including business documents, notes, post-its, and anything else that’s deemed as private. All PC’s should be powered off and should also be password protected at all times, to prevent hacking or misuse. All removable media, such as CDs, floppy disks, or memory sticks should be removed and kept secure in a lockable cabinet or room. A Clean Desk Policy is ideal for any size and type of business because it sets a welcoming and reputable tone for clients visiting your place of business, and most notably it limits your risk of data breach and information theft; both of which occur more often in cluttered and unsecure work environments.
While cleaning your desk at the end of each workday helps to maintain this policy, employees are also encouraged to focus on information security from the start to the end of their workday as well.
Additional Ways a Clean Desk Policy Contributes to Security:
Initiate the Process: Management should be taking the lead from the get-go, providing direction to the team in regards to what the policy entails. Due to the fact that upper management usually looks after the majority of confidential information, it’s imperative that executives are adhering to the policy themselves, setting a good example for their employees to do the same.
The Policy Should be in Writing: Any and all work policies should be available to access online through your internal business management system, or printed off in an employee handbook. Some companies may even consider assigning an individual to conduct sporadic inquiries to verify the policy is being met. If you choose to use this method, notify your staff before beginning. To further implement information security for your Houston office, you might turn to disciplinary action such as advising HR, if there are any concerns with participation levels. On the other hand, you may wish to award employees who successfully follow the policy.
Use Ongoing Reminders: A Clean Desk Policy checklist should include office reminders that reinforce compliance. Put up memos outlining the policy online, and place reminders in busy common areas, such as meeting rooms and the lunchroom; anywhere where it is visibly noticeable will be beneficial. Lastly, hire a document shredding provider like PROSHRED Houston, and we’ll provide your organization with quality, lockable collection bins, allowing you to store documents securely, and prior to having them destroyed.
Reduce Paper Consumption: Encourage your employees to document information electronically; this is not only a sustainable practice, but it also helps to keep your office organized and clean. When feasible, share files instead of printing them, to save on paper. Look into using online services for conducting surveys and arranging meetings; this is a great step in limiting overall paper use. 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 keep a clean desk.
Maintaining a clean desk improves overall productivity; it improves compliance and limits your risk of data breach. Get in touch with the professionals at PROSHRED Houston, for more details about this convenient policy and how our document shredding services help support a Clean-Desk Policy.