Most offices have various tech tools they use every day. However, the paper shredder is one of those tools that often get looked over for use in the home, even though it can have many benefits.
Shredders provide a sense of privacy that is hard to find with other types of technology. When documents are put through a shredder, they can no longer be the targets for identity thieves; shredding technology provides the peace of mind that the sensitive information is properly destroyed and irrecoverable. Although in the office this is regarded as vital protocol, it is also important to protect sensitive information in the home, such as personal mail, old credit cards or account statements.
Furthermore, with the May 2018 GDPR deadline nearing, shredding your documents is becoming exceedingly important because privacy laws are becoming more stringent. As businesses take steps to ensure they are in line with the new data security policies, why not take similar steps in your home?
With these benefits in mind, most people wonder what type of shredder they should buy. This blog will explore which shredders are best suited to the needs of you and your home.
Rexel JOY Shredder
This smart looking, functional and quiet Rexel JOY Shredder is perfect for personal use in the home. Available in Pretty Pink or Blissful Blue, it is the perfect accessory for an individual to ensure the sensitive information on your mail or bank statements are not infringed. The bright and bold colour options are vibrant and stylish, making them perfect for individual home offices.
Rexel Prostyle Cross Cut Shredder
This smart, and space saving Rexel Prostyle Cross Cut Shredder is a personal shredder that offers cross cut security, cutting paper down to 4 x 35mm confetti-sized pieces (security level P-4). This guarantees a good level of security for the home and is ideal for those with a small home office and need to destroy documents with highly sensitive information.
Rexel Auto+ 130M Micro Cut Shredder
This Rexel Auto+ 130M Micro Cut Shredder is ideal for shredding batches of documents at any one time. It automatically shreds up to 130 sheets into P-5 (2 x 15mm) micro cut pieces, saving you 98% less time than manual feed shredders, and allowing you to continue with your daily tasks with the peace of mind your documents are being effectively destroyed. This shredder is ideal for a large home office for multiple people, who require a large quantity of physical documents to be destroyed.
If you need further assistance to decide which machine is best for your shredding needs, why not try the Rexel Shredder Selector? You just need to answer a few quick questions to find the shredders that best meet your needs.
Follow us on Twitter @rexeleurope or visit our website www.rexeleurope.com for more advice on choosing the right shredder for your office or home.
Attention to ergonomics has been found to have a number of substantial positive impacts on employees’ productivity. Whether it’s finding the right workplace temperature, providing adequate lighting levels or ensuring office workers’ comfort, creating a comfortable and enjoyable working environment has become increasingly important.
More specifically, there are many benefits to ensuring that the working environment remains tidy and organised, and effective filing is just one way to help this. We’ve looked at just a few of the positive impacts that filing can have on employee job performance and the wider office community.
- The desk is a microcosm for your mind
Research by Harvard Business Review has found that employees are more likely to remain clear minded and focused if their surroundings are tidy and organised, increasing productivity and efficiency. Equally, filing can be very satisfying and leave employees feeling satisfied and content.
If documents are all kept in one place and are organised systematically, for example alphabetically or by project, then you and your team will also be able to locate files more quickly and easily.
- A feeling of control
The same study by Harvard Business Review has also shown that workers are likely to feel more satisfied if they are in control at work, and are therefore more likely to self-regulate and remain in control of their workload. Filing can help them feel more in control as they can access their work when they like and organise it how they like.
A study by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute concluded that a cluttered environment distracts the brain to the extent that information is processed less effectively. Therefore, ensuring that all documents and tasks are neatly filed away helps to keep your workspace clear and uncluttered, improving focus on tasks. Filing helps employees to focus on one task at a time, enabling them to prioritise their workload.
- Tracking progress
Continually filing work enables employees to easily see what work has already been completed, by themselves and colleagues, and to what extent, allowing them to easily keep track of progress and accountability on multiple projects. It also helps to reach a sense of achievement when a document or a project is completed and can be filed away.
- Data protection
Particularly as we approach the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May 2018, data protection is very important to any business. Having an effective and reliable filing system ensures that organisations can keep track of all documents and keep them secure, therefore helping to avoid loss of documents and security breaches.
It also helps businesses keep track of the data and information they collect and store and makes it easier to destroy records if necessary, making their data protection policy more transparent. This helps with GDPR compliance.
Whilst it may seem like a reasonably simple task, adopting good filing habits can make a big difference to the working environment, positively impacting employees’ productivity and efficiency whilst also helping to implement GDPR compliance.
Leitz’s wide range of high quality filing and archiving products helps you to organise your office or workspace whilst adding a touch of style and colour. Explore the full range here: http://www.leitz.com/en-gb/promotions/art/
If you’ve let your clutter get out of hand – now is time to have a clear out before the Christmas and New Year madness. Too much clutter and mess can have detrimental effects on your home and work life.
Read on to find out how order and organisation affects productivity levels and why following our top tips to de-clutter your life can lead to a more successful career.
Why should workspaces be kept tidy?
Not only can a messy desk space be detrimental to your productivity and motivation, it is likely – especially in ever-popular open plan offices – that your co-workers are judging you on how clean or dirty you keep your workspace. A messy desk has a negative effect and portrays yourself as unproductive and disorganised to your co-workers.
It has been reported that if you have a cluttered workspace or office, you show yourself to be less efficient. Disorganization is said to suggest a degree of incompetence that clouds your abilities. Therefore, if you are hoping to progress in your career, you run the risk of jeopardizing your chance as you portray yourself to be disorganised and unable to cope with an increased workload.
Furthermore, although you may understand your own filing system of organised chaos, when you are absent from work, it can make it incredibly difficult for your colleagues to find vital pieces of paperwork or information to take over your role.
A few tips on how to maintain a tidy desk and a tidy mind
- Set a weekly agenda for cleaning
Setting up a routine for cleaning either at work or at home might make it that bit easier to keep on top of your home/office space. Take an hour out of your schedule at the end of the week, to delve deep into the files that have been piling up on your desk. Organising them and cleaning your workspace will put you in a good headspace when you return to work after the weekend.
- Don’t make piles use files!
Making piles of paperwork does not reduce clutter. If you require multiple documents to be stored for a long period of time, then consider appropriately archiving them with suitable filing solutions, such as Leitz’ suspension filing or lever arch filing ranges. Giving items a designated place and setting limits on the amount of items you store in each place will ensure your desk does not become too crowded. When your filing system begins to overflow, throw out the oldest documents. Alternatively, if they’re too important to discard, digitally archive them.
Note: Keeping documents for over a year not only creates clutter but it also raises data security risks. Furthermore, ensure you and your business are up to date with the new data protection regulations before the GDPR deadline in May 2018.
- Get rid of your ‘just in case’ items
Be honest with yourself about which items and documents have value. Think about which unnecessary things you are holding on to ‘just in case’, and whether keeping them is more hassle than it’s worth. There’s no reason to keep things that don’t work, that you don’t need or that you don’t particularly like.
- Don’t forget to digitally de-clutter
In today’s digital society, people store their lives on their computers, smartphones, and within e-mails. If not properly maintained, it can be hard to find important items and stay organised. Therefore as you reorganise your home and office – don’t forget to organise your digital life!
It’s so much easier to take the hassle out of document shredding by giving the responsibility to a third party paper shredding services company to do it for you, right? Well. There are alternatives that can even save you money. Shredding on-site provides the peace of mind that the job is complete, to your expected standard, and deploying shredders across your estate means there’s one less contracted service eating into your profits each month.
- What are the benefits of automatic paper shredding on-site?
Too many companies have fallen victim to identity theft or scams because of information that has been obtained from a stolen or perhaps incorrectly shredded document.
Empowering staff onsite to take responsibility for document shredding provides a company with instant protection, not to mention the peace of mind it provides in knowing that companies, staff and customers are taking steps to protect their data. Rexel Auto Feed shredders shred through a stack of papers in one go. Once loaded the employee can walk away. This combats any productivity claim that an off-site shredding service will claim to save you. On site shredding also provides a safe and clean way of dealing with office clutter. After all, no one likes having piles of loose papers sitting around the office taking up space.
- How do automatic auto feed paper shredders work?
Batch shredding is a simple way of securely destroying a pile of papers at once … automatic feed shredding means you can Stack the paper into the shredder, Shut the lid and start shredding at the touch of a button, leaving you to return to your desk, and then before you know it, the job is Done! Batch shredding saves you and your co-workers valuable time, when compared to the hours spent using a manual feed shredder, feeding in each sheet one by one.
Watch our video which explains how auto feed shredders work here.
- How do I choose the right paper shredder?
Where do you start? Before selecting a shredder you’ll need to consider the number of users that will have access to the shredder, how many sheets can you shred at once and what level of security do you need?
There are various levels of security, and whilst the main focus of shredding is always document security, some companies have to go above and beyond in order to comply with strict data protection laws, and this means that shredder security is paramount. Security levels are measured by a ‘P scale’, which relates directly to the cut the shredder provides. This ranges from P-1, to ultra secure Micro Cut with a security level of P-7
Rexel Shredder Selector
To help you decide which machine is best for your batch shredding needs, why not try the Rexel Shredder Selector? You just need to answer a few quick questions to find the shredders that best meet your needs. Follow us on Twitter @rexeleurope or visit our website www.rexeleurope.com for more advice on choosing the right shredder for your office.
Whether in the classroom, the office or at home, whiteboards have become a staple of our daily lives. Yet due to their regular use, they can lose their bright white shine if not looked after properly.
Therefore, it’s essential to make sure your whiteboard is cleaned and maintained properly, in order to protect the board’s surface from ink stains, ghosting and a dull, off-white appearance.
This blog offers three solutions to the most common whiteboard cleaning problems to help you effectively and efficiently look after your board.
Solution 1 – Use Nobo’s Magnetic Whiteboard Eraser to get rid of your whiteboard’s dull off-white appearance
Regular use of whiteboards can create a dull off-white appearance on the whiteboard from using inappropriate cleaning products such as dirty erasers or cloths to wipe boards.
A fresh and effective board eraser can make all the difference when keeping your whiteboard clean. Dirty erasers, cloths or papers look unprofessional, and can also create more work in the long run as they spread ink all over the board surface.
Nobo’s Whiteboard Erasers save you time in maintenance, and the refill strips can be easily replaced to keep an effective eraser.
Top Tip: Use a Nobo Eraser to clean your board after each use to leave it in a good condition for the next user.
Solution 2 – Say goodbye to stains and ghosting with Nobo’s Everyday Whiteboard Cleaning Spray
Ink stains occur when ink has been left on a board surface for a long time, making it difficult to erase easily.
Ghosting appears when a pen is used on a poorly maintained surface. When the writing is erased it ‘lifts’ dirt off the board, leaving behind the white ghostly remnants of your previous text.
The best way to combat ink stains and ghosting is with a good cleaner, and Nobo’s Everyday Whiteboard Cleaner is a lighter cleaner that can be used to stop the stains and dirt on the board surface from building up.
Top Tip: Different whiteboard surfaces require different levels of cleaning. The better the surface, the less cleaning is needed.
Solution 3 – Restore your whiteboard with Nobo’s Whiteboard Renovator Spray
Is your whiteboard suffering from ink residue? Has it been a long time since you last cleaned your whiteboard? Use Nobo’s Renovator to recondition and restore all dry wipe surfaces to look and perform like new.
This should be used when your whiteboard has a dull, ink stained appearance or has ghosting that cannot be cleaned away.
Top Tip: Use the Nobo Whiteboard Renovator for extreme cases where boards have not been maintained.
Learn more about Nobo and discover the best whiteboard accessories and solutions for your workplace by visiting our website https://uk.noboeurope.com or following @noboeurope on Twitter.
Daylight saving – What you need to know
On 29th October at 2am, the UK reverts to standard GMT by changing clocks back one hour, to 1am, signaling the official end of British summertime.
With autumn daylight saving around the corner, it is important to ensure that office environments are maintained to foster employee wellbeing and productivity when it’s dull and dark outside.
The main purpose of daylight saving time is to make better use of daylight, in the hope of saving energy. Not only does daylight saving increase enjoyment of sunlight in summer months, it also saves money as we reduce the demand for artificial lighting.
On the other hand, in winter months, this hour is moved back, meaning we lose an hour of daylight from our afternoon schedule, and this can have negative repercussions. Read on to explore the impact of daylight in the workplace and the latest innovative office tools, which help replicate the benefits of daylight.
Why is daylight in the office important?
The most detrimental factor to productivity and wellbeing in the work place is a poor office environment. With increasing numbers of open-plan offices, enhancing the working environment and maintaining a productive office design, it is becoming an important subject matter. Central to this is ensuring maximum daylight illumination, which has been correlated to increased productivity and wellbeing. (For more information click here).
A lack of daylight can have serious consequences. Not only does it increase costs due to the need for artificial lighting, but it can also negatively impact our health and mood.
Daylight has 3 key positive impacts:
Vision – Our vision in natural daylight (excluding extreme sunlight) is better than in artificial lighting. Not only does it allow you to see things more clearly, but it also prevents you from becoming tired and drowsy from the offish yellow lighting that most artificial sources provide.
Health – The link between daylight and health is pretty clear – daylight provides us with Vitamin D, an essential element for a healthy immune system. Additionally, a lack of daylight in the office has been linked to ‘sick building’ syndrome, which links sickness with lack of daylight or windows in a building.
Mood – The presence of daylight in the workplace has been linked to increased workplace satisfaction, reduced long-term stress and increased productivity as a result.
How using a daylight lamp can mimic the above benefits
Although natural daylight is neither reliable nor consistent, there are ways to ensure that the benefits are sustained in your office. One signature way to do this is using daylight lamps.
If you want to truly step up the energy level in your office, go a step further and use daylight colour balanced lamps, such as the ActiVita Strip+ Daylight Lamp. These innovative lamps are designed to mimic the above wellbeing benefits of daylight, helping you to work brighter. It might seem like a small detail, but you can expect an overall big improvement in the atmosphere of your office, and productivity!
To stay up to date with the latest releases of our daylight lamps, follow @rexeleurope on Twitter or visit our website: https://uk.rexeleurope.com
Tips from office specialists – Rexel
Identity theft is at record high levels. Cifas reported that approximately 173,000- identity frauds had taken place in the UK in 2016 (and that’s only those that were reported).
Names, addresses and phone numbers should not be considered invaluable to fraudsters. If a fraudster can marry these pieces of information with dates of birth, national insurance numbers, credit card numbers or online shopping accounts, they have enough to cause you a lot of pain.
Why taking precautions is important
You may be up to date with document management at work, but are you replicating what you know at home?
Handling physical documents with care is just as important as protecting your Internet profile. The key to minimising the risk of fraud at home lies in destroying the important documents you no longer need, especially those with identifying information.
We don’t always realise just how much personal and sensitive information is stored in our own homes, from computers, to smartphones, post, emails and texts.
Social media has become a platform where personal information is shared on a daily basis. With unprecedented levels of active users, the willingness to display this information has increased. The good news is that there are strict privacy settings that allow us to protect who can see our personal information. Check yours regularly to make sure you’re not sharing any potentially damaging information.
It is not only costly and time consuming to change all your personal details, it could have very damaging effects for you, your family and your work if it fell into the wrong hands.
Having your identity stolen and used can hit your finances hard. Fraudsters could take money from your bank account or they could take credit out in your name. Their actions can hurt your credit score and affect your chances of getting credit in the future.
Top tips for preventing identity theft at home
Here are three simple behaviours that we advocate for office workers that you can replicate at home to avoid falling victim of identity theft:
- Destroy all paper documentswith your personal data on after use.
Anything that comes through your letter box should be considered a risk. It’s crucial to appropriately dispose of documents that display sensitive information. A great way to achieve this is to shred your documents. The Style+ Cross Cut Shredder is perfect for home offices; to help dispose of confidential documents appropriately.
- Blank out names, addresses, and bank account numbers on important documents that you are storing, or before recycling or destroying your letters.
If you need to dispose of tangible documents with a large area of private or confidential information, it’s important to blank out the sensitive information. The Rexel JOY ID Guard is ideal for protecting any information on paper that you want to keep private.
- Create secure passwords on all accounts and update regularly – don’t leave them lying around for others to find!
To prevent someone hijacking your smartphone or laptop, ensure you use strong passwords. Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers to ensure maximum security. Also it’s important to use different passwords for different accounts – especially your online banking.
For more information on what you need to consider when protecting your identity at home, click here to see our fraud prevention infographic.
To stay up to date with the latest releases of our security and ID protection products, follow @rexeleurope on Twitter or visit our website www.rexeleurope.com.
It’s European Cyber Security month and with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), less than two quarters away, on-site data security is as hot a topic as ever.
While many organisations are thinking about their cyber security and personal data management, we’re keen to highlight the need for organisations to not undermine their data security policies and procedures by failing to manage the very real risks that paper and printed documentation present.
Paper based security risk
The ICO report that 40% data security incidents between July and September 2016 were attributed to paper. This included loss or theft, sending documents to the wrong recipient, insecure disposal or leaving papers in insecure locations.
The ICO has also revealed that almost two thirds of offices admit to not shredding confidential information, putting themselves, their customers and their workplace at risk.
This is why we’re calling on organisations to focus on paper during European Cyber Security month and to create and include a paper security policy in their GDPR compliance preparations.
Paper security policy
All data security policies should include guidance for storing, accessing and destroying paper documents.
What, Where, Why, When: paper security policy essentials
To help organisations construct their paper security policies we recommend asking the following questions:
- What – data types does your organisation use?
- Where – should your data be stored?
- Who – needs to access to data and who can approve access?
- When – should data be destroyed?
What can I do now to minimise risk?
Educate staff to recognise the different data types and how each requires a different level of security management.
- Personal– means data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified from the data
- Sensitive– is also data relating to a living individual but it includes one or more details about a data subject including, race, political opinion, religion, health and criminal activity
- Confidential– typically represents data which should be kept completely secret and not shared with anyone unless under NDA.
Offer staff high security on-site paper disposal & destruction opportunities
Rexel Auto+ automatic feed shredders let employees load a stack of paper, shut the lid and walk away, removing the productivity pain point cited by those who shred frequently. Documents are destroyed instantly, on-site.
Educate employees about document security
Training, support and guides should be made available to employees to educate and make them aware of the changes taking place. Providing training is a great incentive for staff and should empower employees to take responsibility in complying with the GDPR. It is also a good idea to nominate representatives from each team, who are responsible for ensuring paper documents are correctly processed, stored, or destroyed, and who also monitor paper stack build-up on desks.
Our “Keeping your identity safe in the office” infographic is a great resource to start your internal education with.
To stay up to date with the latest releases of shredders follow @rexeleurope on Twitter or visit our website. Rexel’s e-book about understanding GDPR, also includes a framework for business compliance is also available to download for free here.
Staff wellbeing has been a much debated topic in recent years, with businesses putting more focus on creating workplace environments that prioritise employee health – and ultimately, increasing productivity.
The productivity conundrum
Image source: Pexels
With reports that UK productivity growth is considerably lower than other major global economies like France and Germany, the pressure is on British businesses to increase productivity. In many cases, this pressure can be perceived as a call to work harder and longer hours without taking regular breaks, with recent figures indicating that the average lunch break in Britain is just 34 minutes. However, working longer hours without taking breaks can actually be having the opposite effect.
Understandably, office design is a huge contributor to team productivity – with everything from the colour of flooring to well-placed wall art creating visual stimulation. However, as well-designed as your office may be, it’s crucial that staff members spend time away from their desks and computers throughout the working day – and often, this is as easy as taking a five minute break outside. Today, we’re looking beyond the monetary implications to find out the effects that skipping breaks can have on employees.
The Telegraph published results from a survey conducted by DeskTime and revealed that workers who took 17 minutes time out away from their desk, for every 52 minutes they worked, experienced the greatest levels of productivity – which dispels the myth that working longer means you get more done.
The Huffington Post also provided five science-backed ways in which taking breaks can improve a person’s productivity, emphasising the human brain and body’s need for rest and recuperation after a certain period of exertion – in order to avoid physical and mental fatigue.
For this reason, employers should encourage staff to take regular breaks away from their desks, ideally once an hour, as it has the potential to deliver a significant impact on productivity. This downtime allows the brain to relax and refocus, in the same way that daylight desk lamps help, offering a fresh view and a renewed energy to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, resulting in a better use of time and resources.
An increased risk of mental illness
Another concerning issue with employees not taking regular time out of their day is the effect it can have on their mental health. Missing breaks, whether it’s a full lunch hour or just a five minute break away from a desk, can have detrimental consequences for both employees and employers – not just in monetary terms, but also regarding productivity and an increased chance of mental health issues.
In workplaces where staff regularly forgo breaks by choosing to remain at their desk, there’s a much greater likelihood they will experience higher levels of stress and anxiety, which can lead to burnouts, depression and even long-term sickness. These feelings can be reduced considerably when workers ensure they take the appropriate breaks – as physically moving away from their desks and leaving the office to get some fresh air, sunlight, exercise and a change of scenery will all have a relaxing effect. This in turn will help to improve concentration levels and productivity, and most importantly mental and physical wellbeing.
The physical effects
Image source: Pixabay
Besides the higher risk of employees developing mental health concerns when regular breaks aren’t taken, there’s also evidence of physical effects on an individual’s health and wellbeing. Employees that are sedentary for long periods of time, eating lunch at their desks and rarely leaving their workstation for breaks, are at a much higher risk of developing physical health issues.
An article by Fit for Work published results from a BBC survey that reported 54 percent of employees regularly skipped lunch, of which, over 50 percent believed this to be a widespread culture in their workplace. The physical effects of skipping breaks or eating lunch at your desk, along with poor posture, can be an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, as well as instances of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
The simple act of standing up and walking around for a few minutes will help to get the blood pumping faster around the body, which also feeds more oxygen to the brain to help with concentration.
When it comes to improving the productivity and profitability within a business, it’s imperative to remember staff are your most valuable asset. If you work towards encouraging employees to take regular breaks, it’s likely you’ll reap the benefits with a happier, healthier and more efficient workforce in the long-run.
An organised business is a productive business. According to research conducted by Brother International Corporation, the average employee spends up to 76 hours per year looking for misplaced items in the office or on their computer, costing €149billion in lost productivity every year. This proves why being organised is such an indispensible skill for small businesses, especially in increasing the productivity levels of employees. Let’s now review in more detail some of the many advantages.
How does staying organised affect SMEs?
Lower stress levels
Working in a clean, neat and organised environment relieves stress and helps employees to think clearer. A cluttered workspace can result in a jumbled mind. Researchers from Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have shown that chaos and clutter infringe upon the ability to focus as physical clutter overloads the senses, making you feel stressed and anxious.
Research from the National Association of Professional Organisations has proven a direct correlation between productivity and clutter. Disorder and mess are simply piles of distractions, causing a loss of focus, which negatively affects productivity levels. A clean workspace is also likely to encourage others in the office to work better, resulting in overall higher productivity levels.
Imagine what could be achieved in the 76 hours the average employee wastes when looking for misplaced items and searching through endless computer files. By organising files and documents, relocating items becomes easier and quicker, allowing those 76 hours to be optimised for completing real work.
With the benefits of keeping organised now clear, how can the owners and team leaders of SMEs ensure that their staff stay productive?
- Provide the correct tools to shred
Decluttering and organising workspaces should not jeopardise the paper security levels of a business. Ensuring employees have the tools to safely and securely dispose of sensitive documents is highly important. Rexel Auto Feed shredders are not only efficient but save 98% of time spent at the shredder. To learn more on how to find the right shredder for your business, browse Rexel’s Shredder Buying Guide.
- Keep a stocked stationery cupboard
Maintaining a fully stocked stationery cupboard enables employees to access the essential tools they may need on a daily basis. This prevents employees wasting time sourcing their own stationery items. Instead, by providing stationery, employees have no excuse to keep a disorganised, messy workspace.
The stationery cupboard should also provide for all employees filing needs, including Lever Arch files, plastic wallets and folders, staplers and hole punches. This encourages staff to maintain their own information management systems, which are key to sustaining an organised business.
- Provide desk accessories for all
Desk accessories help to keep your workspace tidy and organised. Desk organisers offer a convenient means of dealing with high activity areas, for example, tiered letter trays can help to prioritise work loads, whilst desk tidies are perfect for storing pens and pencils. By providing desk accessories for all employees, organisation is encouraged from the outset of their employment.
To stay up to date with the latest releases of desk tools and stationery, follow @rexeleurope @noboeurope and @gbceurope of Twitter or visit our website.