3 min Zuletzt auktualisiert: 22.02.2023

Being organised at work: why a “clean desk policy” is a must

As modern working practices become ever more efficient and decentralized, the days of messy desks being tolerated in offices are coming to an end. Desks are no longer treated as each employee’s private fiefdom where they are free to arrange matters as they see fit, regardless of how chaotic the results might be.

Instead, desks are now seen as shared working spaces with resulting standards to be maintained. And this shift in focus is increasingly being enforced via “clean desk policies” which are actually written into employment policies.

Let’s take a quick look at some key factors driving this change:

  • Appearances matter: An employee’s desk is often the first thing a visitor sees when calling on a company – and first impressions count. A messy desk implies a potentially messy engagement with the company as a customer.
  • Tidy desks drive productivity: Research shows that the average employee spends up to ten percent of their working time searching for physical items. A well-organized desk significantly reduces this wasted time.
  • Data protection and security: Having sensitive files strewn all across a poorly organized desk in full view of co-workers and office cleaners is an absolute no-go these days.
  • Flexible working arrangements: Clean, sensibly organized desks allow for workspaces to be easily shared and swapped to cater for illness, job-sharing arrangements or dynamic team structures.

You may be wondering whether this means an end to personal expression and creativity at work? Little touches such as holiday/family photos or personal mementos are proven to have a positive effect on morale, after all.

The good news is that these personal items are free to remain. They simply have to be stored sensibly when not actively in use. Putting together a simple agreed system for employees about where such items are to be stored makes a world of difference. And this system can easily be standardized by being described in your organization’s official clean desk policy.

You can find out more about data protection in the office in our online training course on data protection for employees. Get started now by taking a look at our demo version!

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