A Clean Desk Policy provides many benefits for a business, such as helping to protect sensitive information, minimizing the risk of data breaches and identity theft, as well as improving productivity, compliance, and overall appearances. Clean desk spaces also allow for easier wiping down of surfaces and equipment.
Statistics show that 55% of theft in a workplace occurs within the victim’s work area meaning, anyone who may be walking by such as visitors, employees, maintenance workers, or the cleaning crew could be a risk.
When a business implements a Clean Desk Policy, it requires all employees to clear their workspace of confidential data at the end of each day, along with maintaining precautions throughout the day. This means filing away or locking up any essential documents, discarding handwritten notes, removing thumb drives, shutting down the computer, or signing out to a password-protected screen.
A Clean Desk Policy specifies how employees should manage their workspace. Here are some ways you can reduce and prevent security risks in the workplace.
- Install lockable filing cabinets and desk drawers
- Avoid printing documents. If you must, make sure to destroy them at the end of the day securely.
- Do not write down passwords and other sensitive information
- Lock away devices and make sure they are encrypted
- Use a privacy filter to reduce the risk of people peeking over your shoulder
As employees continue to work from home and utilize video conferencing apps, this policy is just as important to follow at home. Before hopping on a video call, make sure all documents, handwritten notes, planners, and calendars are moved out of the camera view, whether they are on your work surface or hanging on the wall behind you.
The Top 4 Benefits
The main goal for implementing a Clean Desk Policy is to have control over your sensitive information, which will ultimately reduce the risk of a data breach and identity theft.
Decluttering your workspace will allow you to be more productive. According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, the average employee wastes over 4 hours a week searching for papers, and the average manager loses 1 hour of productivity per day searching for missing information.
Having a clean desk policy in place has the added benefit of helping you meet ISO 27001 requirements as well as other industry standards such as the Accountability and Portability Act for Health Insurance (HIPAA).
This policy helps to overall clean up and organize the workplace, which sends out a stronger message of efficiency and professionalism. If you are working from home, it will create a less stressful environment and a clearer mind.