What is a clean desk policy?

Under a clean desk policy, each employee must clear their desk of all media at the end of every workday. There should not be any post-it notes, USB memory sticks, documents, etc., on any desk when your employees leave for the day. Clean desks reduce data breaches by eliminating the possibility of sensitive information being left out in clear view or accessible to passersby. 

Four Reasons Why Your Business Should Have a Clean Desk Policy

1: It Strengthens Document Security

If your business handles any sensitive information, you understand how crucial—and often difficult—it can be to safeguard that data. Employees, clients, cleaning staff, and anyone else who enters your building might be able to easily view information left unattended on desks, increasing the chances of a security breach. Implementing a clean desk policy protects sensitive data by discouraging employees from leaving their login credentials and other information in plain view.  

2: It Saves Time and Money

Along with the use of a document management system (DMS), a clean desk policy can save your business the time (and money) you currently spend on locating, storing, and printing documents. For instance, digitally storing your documents in a DMS reduces paper usage in the office, leading to lower costs of supplies such as paper, storage, and ink or toner. 

Without this type of policy, employees can end up spending large amounts of time searching for a document buried on their own desk or someone else’s. Keeping the office organized with a combination of a clean desk policy and a DMS allows employees to quickly retrieve files. This significantly reduces the risk of lost documents while increasing productivity. 

3: It Can Improve Your Reputation

Security breaches hurt your reputation and can cost you important relationships with clients, customers, employees, and business partners. Reducing security risks with a clean desk policy helps your business maintain its trustworthy reputation. A clean workplace also makes a good impression on new clients, partners, and employees who enter the office. 

4: It Reduces Stress

Maintaining a clean desk helps employees stay organized so they can perform their duties more efficiently. Knowing that they can always find documents easily reduces stress and creates a better work environment for everyone. Happy and confident employees will also be able to maintain better relationships with your clients and customers. 

How to Implement a Clean Desk Policy

Here are a few tips to help you implement this type of policy in your office:

  • Put the new policy in writing—clearly state how to follow the policy and lay out the penalties for breaking it. 
  • Remind your employees of the policy via email, office bulletins, etc. 
  • Go over the policy when training new employees. 
  • Provide lockable storage for employees to securely store sensitive documents when not in use. 
  • Implement a document management system and password protect your printers to minimize physical copies in the office. 
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