Tis the season: 5 reasons to have an office clear-out this winter

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but did you know that the period between Christmas and New Year is the perfect opportunity to sort out your office? With the average office worker in the UK using up to 45 pieces of paper per day1, paper-based clutter often comes to a head in December, making it the ideal time to purge your old archive files and start the new year (and new decade, in this case!) afresh.

In our latest blog post, we look at why it’s important to use the festive period to blitz the paper build-up – and why using a shredding partner can make the process run smoothly.

Time for a fresh start

It’s a familiar tale: the ominous pile of documents that everyone in the office is actively avoiding, whether it’s archive documents hidden away in a cupboard or miscellaneous paperwork cluttering a spare desk. And tackling such paper pile-ups is no simple task, as the paper in question is usually a mixture of confidential and non-confidential documents, which need to be sorted to be either securely stored, shredded or recycled. Confidential documents that should be securely shredded include:

  • Financial data
  • Employee records
  • Customer information
  • Legal documents
  • Business contracts and agreements
  • Trade secrets and intellectual property
  • Business, marketing and sales plans.

While the sorting process may seem like an overwhelming task, the period of downtime leading up to the turn of the year is a brilliant opportunity to have a clear-out. At Shredded Neat, we can help you get a head start by providing you with sacks to start filling up with your papers, or we’ll even come to your location to shred everything on your behalf as a one-off purge. But that’s not all…

5 reasons to use a shredding partner this winter 

  1. It will improve your security

Not only will securely disposing of excess documents help you start 2020 with a clean slate, but it will also protect sensitive data. This is where using a shredding partner is vital, as your existing processes may not be secure. ‘Strip shredding’ (a traditional office shredder) is neither secure nor legally compliant, as it doesn’t make documents unreadable and doesn’t have an audit trail.

At Shredded Neat, we use cross-cut shredders to reduce confidential materials to fine pieces of confetti, so that it is impossible to piece them back together again. We also provide all our customers with lockable, confidential wastebins to keep in the office for staff to put papers straight into. Lastly, we provide your businesses with a legally defensible audit trail of each shredding service we carry out, including a Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note and a Certificate of Destruction for your auditing records. These certificates will not only protect your company reputation, but will enhance it too!

  1. It will save you time…

Did you know that human error accounts for the majority of data breaches? A major reason for this is that employees simply do not have the time to stand and shred their documents. By using a shredding partner you will both increase security and save your employees time, meaning they can focus on the roles they excel in, ultimately benefitting your company.

  1. …and money!

Bad waste practices are costing UK industry money – in fact, according to Envirowise, it’s costing at least £15bn every year.2 One reason for this is that office shredders are only built to shred small volumes of papers at a time – if used for large batches, they risk overheating, meaning you will have to replace them. And, as we covered in our first point, office shredders are not secure, leaving you open to penalties…

  1. It reduces the risk of fines

Another way that using a shredding partner will save you money is that it will protect you against expensive fines and lawsuits due to data mismanagement. According to the Data Protection Act (1998), once the retention period of confidential documents has passed, you have a legal obligation under GDPR to destroy any data containing personal information. If you don’t, you could incur a £500,000 fine – or more, as the most serious GDPR violations could result in fines of up to €20 million or 4 per cent of turnover (whichever is greater).

  1. You’ll be doing your bit for the environment

And last, but certainly not least – by using Shredded Neat you will also be doing your bit for the environment, as 100% of our paper is recycled. Once we have shredded your documents, the paper is baled up and sent directly to the paper mills. Envirowise says that approximately 70% of office waste is recyclable, but on average only 7.5% reaches a recycling facility.3 We also deal will non-secure document recycling.

 Throughout the year

While a festive purge is a brilliant way of tackling your paper build-up ready for the new year, a regular shredding service can help prevent the backlog in the first place.

At Shredded Neat we offer an ongoing shredding service to businesses across the south of England. This regular collection of confidential documents removes any concerns relating to handling and destruction of sensitive and confidential documents, while ensuring your business remains GDPR- and ISO-compliant at all times and at the most competitive prices.

We can organise regular visits, avoiding a document build-up and to help you regularly shred your documents. We can also supply a range of consoles, wheelie bins and sacks that will keep your material secure until our next scheduled visit.

 

Contact us today

If you’re interested in having a festive clear-out, please get in contact with our friendly team today. We can provide our services within 24 hours of being contacted, and, once our job is done, 100% of your shredded materials are recycled.

Call us today on 0800 234 6660, or contact us online and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

 

Sources:

1 https://www.kefron.com/blog/how-much-paper-does-the-average-uk-office-waste-every-year/

2,3 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/feb/21/waste.recycling

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