Clear desk policy – time to take action

Image shows files on top of each other in folders

We listened to your feedback and the majority of you are happy to continue to work from home, with some access to office space when/if required. Our Modern Workspace is currently reviewing office layouts and the space and storage teams need.

We expect to move away from employees working in offices Monday to Friday and having dedicated desks. In order to do this, we are adopting a clear desk policy and need your help, 

How can you help

We want to give you plenty of time to prepare and make arrangements to clear your desk and work space, but taking into account of course that national guidance is still that working from home should continue where possible.

We are asking you to do 2 things:

  1. Clear your desks before 30th November 2021. This will help get our offices ready for the next phase of the project which may include the repositioning of desks. If you are normally office based (before Covid and lockdown), please arrange to go into the office to clear your desk.
  2. We need you to start thinking now about what paper files you and your team have in the office. This will enable us to inform the design team of how much storage is required in each building when they are designing new layouts. We realise that some teams will have more files than others. We need to know if teams can manage their files or if you need any additional help.

You should:

  • Arrange with your line manager to visit the office *
  • Remove all personal belongings
  • Clear your desk and work space
  • Start deciding  if paper files can be;
  • Scanned
    Are you and your team able to carry out scanning? If yes, please arrange to do this as soon as possible.

If you have a large amount of files that need scanning and need help, contact the Our Modern Workspace project team.

Recycled / confidential Waste
Please arrange to dispose of files through recycling or confidential waste as soon as possible. If you have a large quantity of files, we can arrange a large scale uplift across the council but need to understand the quantities involved. Contact the Our Modern Workspace project team to let them know.

When you have determined what files to keep, please give details of the quantity (and the likely space needed to accommodate that) to the Our Modern Workspace project team.

*Please do not turn up at offices without permission. To ensure we are following all Covid safety guidance, speak to your line manager first and they can notify the relevant Site Premises Manager to arrange access.

What happens if I still need to use my desk?

The majority of people continue to work from home. There is no change to the way we are using offices. If you need to go into the office and the desk that you previously used is within a hub office, then you can use that desk.

If the desk you usually use is in a closed office, use a flex desk.  This will remain the case until we start the redesign of offices. Please follow Covid guidance and make sure you have permission to use the office.

Where do I store equipment/stationery

Storage is being looked at as part of the wider redesign. In the meantime, if you have stationery on your desk that you can use for homeworking, please take this with you when you clear your desk. If you have a requirement to work from a hub office full time, you can use the desk you previously sat at.  If you are usually based at a closed building and need to return full time, we can make arrangements for storage. Please do not take any files home that include personal data.

If your team has equipment in a cupboard/storage unit, this will not be removed. Details of existing storage facilities and equipment should have already been passed to the project team through line managers. If you think something has been missed, please contact

A note about records and information

As we move towards working digitally, think about what paper files you currently have. Do you need to keep them and if so, how long for?

It is important to handle records appropriately. There are required timescales for retaining and disposing of records for each service. You can find guidance on clearing records and information here –    Managing Records and Information.


You will find more information about Our Modern Workspace on the Hub. If you have any other questions please contact

Your help is very much appreciated.


Jane Fowler, Head of Customer Support Services

Ross McLaughlin, Head of Commercial Services

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