A clear desk policy is adopted by a number of businesses and freelancers alike, helping to reduce any breaches in security, keep the office looking tidy and instill good workplace etiquette.
Whether you rent a desk in a co-working space, or work in a large private office, adopting a clear desk policy provides a number of benefits to both you and your colleagues. From reducing work-related stress, to helping to reduce the change of any thefts from the office, we think these reasons to adopt a clear desk policy are sure to convince you to keep yours clean and tidy from now on.
What is a Clear Desk Policy?
A clear desk policy is a popular policy among businesses and freelancers, ensuring that desks are clean, clear and secure at the end of every working day.
This involves sorting through any important (and confidential) documents, getting rid of any rubbish, organising personal belongings and often extends to electronic devices, such as laptops and work phones too.
Not only does this improve the appearance of the office, helping it to look clean and tidy, but it also helps to protect sensitive data and avoid it falling into the wrong hands. What’s more, it reduces the risk of electronic devices being stolen from the office.
1. Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’, and it’s one of the very best reasons to implement a clear desk policy at work.
Studies have shown that messy, cluttered spaces can make it difficult to focus on a task, leading to a reduction in productivity. This is because being surrounded by lots of objects gives your brain more to focus on and takes its attention away from the task at hand.
Not only is this bad news if you’ve got looming deadlines, it can also lead to a reduced performance at work. In turn, this can lead to a huge increase in stress levels, for both staff and management.
Therefore, making a conscious effort to keep your desk free from clutter will go a long way towards increasing your productivity and reducing your stress levels at work.
2. Keep Your Belongings Safe
Whether you work in a large office with lots of people passing through, or you want to protect your electronics from an unexpected office break in, implementing a clear desk policy will help you to keep your belongings safe and reduce the risk of anything being stolen.
Not only will this save you time and money by ensuring that you don’t lose any important projects you were working on, it means you don’t have to fork out for a new laptop. Not to mention, it also means you don’t have to spend weeks waiting for your insurance money to come in so you can replace your belongings.
So by locking your valuables away in a drawer at the end of each day, or taking them home with you to keep them safe, it’ll give you peace of mind that your belongings won’t go missing when you’re not around.
3. Reduce Security Breaches
One of the main reasons why so many companies insist on a clear desk policy is to reduce any security breaches.
Whether you work in a shared office space, or you’ve got cleaners, building managers or visitors coming into your office after hours, there are so many ways in which confidential information can be seen by external parties.
By clearing your desk of any paper or notes at the end of each day, you can reduce the possibility of any external people seeing private documents. From sensitive client information to bank statements, shredding, scanning or securely filing documents can help to reduce the risk of this information falling into the wrong hands.
4. Keep the Office Looking Clean and Tidy
Another great benefit to adopting a clear desk policy is that the office looks clean and tidy at all times.
Not only does this look good to new and existing clients, but it will also make sure you make a good impression on business partners, auditors and any potential investors in your business.
But that’s not all, a clean and tidy office won’t just impress your guests and business partners. It also ensures you and your colleagues have a nice, clean environment to work in. After all, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a clean, tidy desk each morning, allowing you to clear your thoughts and start your day off right.
5. It’s Good Office Etiquette
Aside from reducing the risk of security breaches or thefts, adhering to a clear desk policy is also just good office etiquette, demonstrating that you take pride in maintaining a nice office environment, as well as caring about your fellow colleagues.
This is especially true for those working in co-working spaces, where you may not have the same desk every day. By keeping your desk area neat, you’ll show your co-workers that you care about their comfort and wellbeing. You may even inspire them to stick to the policy too.
6. Improved Organisation
Have you ever been running late for a meeting, when you’ve realised you can’t find your pen, notebook or USB stick? Not only does it increase your stress levels, but it can also make you look unprofessional.
However, a clean environment helps to improve organisation, making it easier for you to find everything you need when you need it.
Many people invest in a desk tidy with a space for their pens, sticky notes and notepad to ensure everything has its place and nothing goes missing when you need it.
7. Reduce Office Germs
We’ve all been there – once one person becomes ill at the office, everyone seems to come down with something. However, one huge benefit of following a clear desk policy is that you reduce the amount of germs around the office.
With the amount of time you spend at your desk each day, it comes as no surprise that the average desk harbours 400 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat. So if you’re not keeping your desk clean and tidy, you’re increasing your chance of developing food poisoning and stomach bugs – to name just a few.
To avoid taking any more sick days, you should make sure you disinfect your desk every day. From wiping your keyboard and computer down with an antibacterial at the end of each day, to getting rid of any old food around your desk (those 3pm biscuit crumbs will still be lurking!). Keeping your desk clean and tidy will go a long way to improving your health and reducing any office illness outbreaks.
8. It Can Make Your Office Greener
Implementing a clear desk policy can help to ensure your office is a little greener. From reducing the amount of documents are printed off each day (print outs mean there’s more to tidy!), to encouraging your colleagues to recycle, it can help to change bad habits and make the office a little more eco-friendly.
How to Implement a Clear Desk Policy
There are a number of different ways to implement a clear desk policy, however, it’s important to establish exactly why you wanted to implement it in the first place. Whether you’re trying to be more organised, or you want to improve security, listing your main goals in order of importance can help you to start implementing the policy quickly and efficiently.
Some of the best ways to incorporate yours include:
- Invest in a desk tidy for all of your stationary
- Get some lockable drawers for any valuables
- Use a paper shredder to safely dispose of any sensitive documents
- Have some antibacterial wipes handy at all times
- Use a paper recycling bin
By spending a little bit of time to implement these steps, you’ll be that much closer to improving security, reducing the risk of thefts and improving your overall office atmosphere. So whether you hot desk at a co-working space, or have your very own dedicated desk in a large office, why not start the spring clean right now?
Explore the UseSpace membership packages today to find the perfect desk for you. Whether you want to hot desk a few days per week, or rent your very own dedicated desk, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. We’ll even let you implement a clear desk policy, of course.