Secure Shredding in a Hybrid Office

Illustration of a woman with a high ponytail using a laptop computer and sitting cross-legged on a large stack of papers and binders.Is the Hybrid Office a Popular Ideal?

In a Harvard Business study, it was found that over 80% of professionals who worked from home during the pandemic either preferred to not return to the office full time or to work in a hybrid environment. Although it appears that the hybrid office is here to stay, at the start of the pandemic, organizations scrambled to figure out how to operate remotely and keep their data secure.

Although you may have individually mastered working in the office or working remotely, combining the two creates a new set of challenges. One of the many challenges is how to securely handle and shred sensitive documents. Here are our solutions.

Hybrid Office Shredding Dilemmas

  1. If your organization already works with a NAID AAA Certified, local shredding company, one or several secure shred collection containers may be placed in convenient locations in your office. But what do your employees do at home? Do they have their own locked shred bins, or do they transport their collection to the office on a regular basis?
  2. Have you provided information security training to all employees? Do they know what to keep and what to shred? What happens to unshredded documents? Are they rolled out to the curb with the rest of the recycling where anyone can take them?
  3. Operating between two locations means that sensitive information becomes increasingly vulnerable to loss, theft, or damage as it awaits shredding or is transported to the office. This risk multiplies with each hybrid employee.

Hybrid Office Shredding Solutions

  1. Consider these recommendations for collecting sensitive documents in a home office to keep your businesses information as secure as possible:
    • Provide a locked shred collection container for each employee to discard their files into.
    • Instruct your employees not to use a shredding machine. Instead, take advantage of scheduled mobile shredding or drop-off shredding options, or have them bring their locked containers to the office and dump the contents into your larger collection containers for scheduled shredding. This will ensure you remain compliant with data privacy laws and that all shredded paper is recycled, as many residential waste management companies do not allow shredded paper in the recycling bin.
  1. Establish a “shred everything” policy so employees aren’t required to decide what they should shred and what can be discarded whole. This will keep questionable documents, files and other items containing personally identifiable information (PII) from causing a data breach your company is responsible for. Recommend that staff only travel with paper documents if absolutely necessary.
  1. To help protect discarded documents from loss or theft when transported to the central office location, consider these recommendations:
    • Select an authorized employee to securely pick up documents from homes to help maintain a clear chain of custody.
    • Schedule a regular time for employees to bring their shred collection bins into the office from remote locations so everyone knows what to expect and unshredded documents aren’t kept for too long.
    • For employees that generate a lot of paperwork working at home, set up a shredding schedule where a mobile shredding truck visits them and shreds all discarded documents on the spot.

Apex Shredding provides secure, NAID AAA Certified shredding and destruction services to businesses and residents in Northern Colorado. Whatever your hybrid office looks like, we have the means of shredding your documents securely and most affordably. To discuss your shredding needs, call us at 907-532-5007 or complete the form on this page.

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