Businesses and employees across the United Kingdom have adjusted to working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic but overlooking waste may become a costly problem.
Many office-based companies made the switch from headquarters to home before the official lockdown was announced on 23 March.
In an unprecedented move for most, business owners have had to oversee the logistical tribulations of moving their staff out of the office and, safely and effectively, into their homes.
However, one factor that may have been ignored during the chaos of change is waste.
Despite business owners and employees that are working from home now operating in a domestic setting, any work-related waste they produce is technically commercial.
This is especially relevant to those businesses that handle any confidential documents, with improper disposal in breach of the Data Protection Act which regulates the collecting, storing, and destroying of any data deemed confidential.
Confidential data can range from CV’s to financial records and be as simple as letters containing names and addresses.
It can relate to a company’s suppliers, employees and/or customers.
And, with work and home subject to an ever-increasing blur, it can be a natural mistake for employees to place commercial and confidential items within their own household bins.
To prevent any breaches, it is important to implement a waste policy for those working from home.
Improper disposal of confidential or classified waste could leave a business open to fraud, fines, or prosecution.
The easiest way for businesses to avoid any problems is to keep as much sensitive documentation in the office as possible – if there is not a requirement for papers to leave the workplace, that is where they should remain.
Another solution is to move any information that is paper-based to a computer.
Not only does this lower the risk of any waste-related data breaches, it is also good, green practice for businesses to move towards a paper-free operation.
And, if either of those measures are not feasible, the best approach is to keep any information secure at home until it is possible to dispose of it at work.
Customers are offered a bespoke service and can opt for confidential information to be shredded at business premises or off-site at a sophisticated, secure destruction centre.