A clean desk policy means that all employees must clean off their desks at the end of their workday. For us it was a very natural decision to imply a clean desk policy since we have adapted flexible seating at our workspace. But even if you’re not going for the activity-based working strategy, a clean desk policy might still be something for you to try. Let us tell you why!
If you have an office with assigned seating, you probably recognize this situation:
You have your seat, desk, your stuff and nobody but you ever use your desk so why should you bother to clean it? Well, there are actually a few benefits:
Think of yourself as a chef. Before the guests arrive in the evening the chef has worked all day to have “mise en place”. If you’re not acquainted with this saying it means “everything in its place”. Chefs use this preparation to be sure that when they start cooking, they will have the best conditions.
By doing this yourself you will get more organized and probably more focused on work instead of looking for that pen, document, mug etc.
Make a good impression
You never know who is coming to visit, do you? Visitors will get a more positive outlook on your organization if the office is nice and tidy.
Avoid sensitive information leakage
Even if you’re not one of them who has their passwords written down on a post-it sucked on to their computer screen (yes, we all know it’s your passwords, Carol), it’s very easy to leave documents or notes on your desk at the end of your workday. Maybe it’s not on purpose or even consciously – it still happens.
By implementing a clean desk policy this will be avoided naturally. If you have the habit of removing your documents and stuff before leaving the office, the problem is solved.
There are some preparations that needs to be done before introducing a clean desk policy into your workplace.
Install lockable cabinets
First things first: to make a clean desk policy work there must be storage where your employees can put their stuff at the end of the day. Otherwise you have a really big issue.
Communicate with your colleagues
Even if you have understood the benefits of a clean desk policy, it doesn’t mean that your colleagues have. Therefore, you have to inform them. It’s the magic word dialog we aim for here. Easier said than done, but for a clean desk policy to work – everyone needs to be on deck.
When it’s decided that your organization is going for a clean desk policy, make sure to make everyone involved. Book a date and invite your colleagues to a collaborative cleaning where each and every one can take the time to clean their own desk and structure their cabinets. This does not only help with implementing the policy, it will hopefully also be a nice, joint moment for your colleagues.
We wish you good luck with your clean desk policy! Check out our Before and After-pics from our clean desk-implementation below!
Sigrid and Tom trying to fit in their stuff in to a cabinet.
Voilà! Desk cleaning done!