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POPI is here - are you ready for it?

With the national lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic keeping us all a little preoccupied, you might have missed the news that the Protection of Public Information (POPI) Act came into law on 1 July 2020.

All businesses handling personal information have until 1 July 2021 to implement the necessary processes and procedures to ensure compliance.

What does the POPI Act entail?

Firstly, it seeks to protect:

  • The public's personal information (defined as any information that distinguishes one person from another)
  • Data associated with any legal entity (from private companies and NGOs to people)
  • All the data related to all these entities, i.e. employee, customer, supplier and all stakeholder information

Next, it aims to govern the handling of personal information:

  • Only personal information needed for a specific purpose can be collected and stored
  • Access to this data must be restricted
  • The legal entity owning the data is permitted to view it on request 

How to ensure POPI compliance

It's easy to forget about documents when they're no longer in active use or go into storage. But when it comes to personal information, out of sight is not out of mind. Here's why:

  • POPI makes specific provision for the correct storage and destruction of documents containing personal data - get to know the requirements of the law and make sure you meet them
  • You need to know why personal data is being collected in your business. Where and how it is being stored and destroyed - appoint a responsible, trusted person who knows the flow of information in your organisation to take ownership for this.
  • The information must be secured at every stage of its journey - ensure proper security measures are in place at all times and restrict employee access to this data
  • If you have the resources in-house to safely and securely store and destroy personal information, do so, if not, appoint an expert in this field to assist you
  • If you're storing and destroying documents on-site yourself:
    • Be transparent about your storage and destruction processes
    • Make sure these processes meet the minimum security requirements
    • Implement a reminder system for when stored documents are due for destruction (only keep what you need, this saves space, time and money)
  • If you are outsourcing document storage and destruction, look for a credible partner:
    • With a solid track record that meets all legislative requirements
    • That issues certificates of destruction confirming these requirements are constantly met
    • That is environmentally conscious (recycling destroyed documents)

Getting your business POPI compliant might seem like an unnecessary expense, but aside from now being a formal legislative requirement, it just makes good business sense.

As responsible corporate citizens, we should all know who is handling our businesses' sensitive data, and take the necessary measures to safeguard it.

Not only does this protect us as business owners as well as our employees, suppliers and partners, but it also saves money in time and resources.

 

About Rob Fedder

Rob is the Managing Director of Tidy Files and Cleardata, which are Metrofile Group companies. He has been involved in the paper and electronic document management industry since 2006 and is passionate about helping businesses navigate the complex document management landscape.

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Cabinet Promotion

Buy a 5-Drawer Quantum and receive 75 x File Collators FREE

Upgrade to the Solid Plastic Container for only R2,900

Offer valid until 31 August 2020

Ts & Cs Apply

Open/View: Click to View the Promotion

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Solid Plastic Container Special

Special Now On!

Valid until 30 September 2020

 

The new Solid Plastic Container: Stronger | More durable | Easy clip-in mechanism

 

  • Available in 10 different colours
  • Designed for A4 Top Retrieval System
  • Manufactured from ABS material
  • 100% Recyclable
Ts & Cs Apply

Open/View: Click Here to View the Special

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Regular or remote: maximise productivity wherever your office is

Regular or remote: maximise productivity wherever your office is 

As we navigate this strange new business landscape we find ourselves in, we’re all looking for ways to optimise the way we work. The truth is, from now onwards, most people won’t work exclusively from one location, and will need to find effective ways to move between working from a conventional office to working from home.

At the beginning of lockdown, I started working from my unfurnished, sterile garden cottage. Now it is a comfortable, fully functioning office that boasts a desk, proper office chair, printer, whiteboard and a bookshelf filled with my favourite reads. I even have a rug (on temporary loan, with my wife’s permission, from inside our home).

I appreciate that not everyone has a garden cottage that they can exclusively use as a home office or access to a study or spare room in their home. Many have had to make a plan that involved sharing the dining room table with their partner, children, or both.

Now that we have moved to lockdown level 3, there is the added stress of working between your home office and work office. I, for example, need to go into the Cleardata office, as well as the Tidy Files office regularly, which means I’m effectively moving between three workspaces every week.  

This has brought with it a whole new set of challenges. Between managing a home and parenting two children, with my wife and managing two businesses, I sometimes feel that whoever shouts the loudest gets my attention. That’s not a great strategy, however, it wasn’t an intentioned approach to dealing with this unprecedented situation, but rather a coping mechanism of sorts!

Having had time to consider what I should be doing instead, I’ve come up with a few ideas to help me better manage my various workspaces – including those I sometimes find myself inadvertently sharing with the family. Hopefully, you’ll find these useful too:

1.       Set up a dedicated workspace

When the garden cottage became my primary workspace, it really highlighted the importance of creating a dedicated space from which to work. If you don’t have access to a separate space like this and share your available space with your partner, spouse or other members of the family, consider creating a portable workstation. One popular idea is to use a crate or a box and put inside everything you need to do your work. Not only does this keep your work essentials safe and all together in one place, but it can be easily moved or packed away when needed.

2.       Have the right tools on hand

At the office, all your go-to necessities from small stationery items to bigger equipment like your printer are right where you need them. At home…not so much! But having quick and easy access to your workplace tools can make the world of difference in your productivity levels. So, stock up on the stationery you need, put printers and scanners in easy-to-reach places and ensure your workspace is as inviting as you need it to be to get work done. If you need an inspired place in which to work, bring in colour, plants, or family photos to create just the right environment.

3.       Become a technology whizz

Thankfully, there are a ton of new technologies available that make life easier as we all fully entrench ourselves as remote workers. These range from personalised time management apps to the mainstream video conferencing tools we have quickly learnt we can’t live without.  Microsoft Teams became our company standard, so I took the time to watch video tutorials that explained all the features and benefits to ensure I didn’t waste time once I was on a meeting.  My advice? Scout out the tech that best suits the work you do, then get to know how it works properly. With no IT guy to call when you hit a glitch, you’re going to want to know how to fix those gremlins when they creep into your apps and programmes.

4.       Plan, prepare and schedule

There’s a temptation, when you work from home, to just allow the day to play itself out as it will and handle jobs as they come in. But just as you would plan ahead at the office, so you should do the same when working remotely. In fact, it’s even more important if you’re moving between locations and don’t want to find you’ve left important materials you need at the office today back at home, or vice versa.

I schedule which days I will work from home and which days I will be at which office. I include an admin day in my planning too, as I find paperwork and admin tasks quickly mount when I’m out of my regular routine. I make a point of sharing this schedule with my team so they know when and where I will be at any given time.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about working through lockdown, whether remotely or at the office, it’s that having the right headspace from which to work is just as important as having the right workspace.

So take the time to look after yourself and keep your eye on the prize - whatever that may be for you during these interesting times.

 

About Rob Fedder

Rob is the Managing Director of Tidy Files and Cleardata, which are Metrofile Group companies. He has been involved in the paper and electronic document management industry since 2006 and is passionate about helping businesses navigate the complex document management landscape.

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Tidy up and store those lockdown documents and we’ll donate a Covid-19 relief package on your behalf

Lockdown documents mounting up that need filing? Time to use or expand your off-site document storage?

We’re delighted to announce we’re open for business, and our consultants are ready to help you manage your work-from-home, essential services and return-to-work document filing and storage. Plus, we’re enabling you to help others in need every time you spend R3500 or more with us.

But first, a few important points.

We’re putting safety first and are following the guidelines set out by the South African Government in the Labour Relations Act: COVID-19 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES IN WORKPLACES COVID-19 (C19 OHS), 2020.

This means adopting a number of safety measures to ensure that our products are safe for transport and for use at your office. These include:

  • Appointing a risk assessment officer specifically tasked with ensuring our workplace remains safe
  • Deep cleaning our factory and sanitising it daily
  • Minimising the contact between staff by reducing the number of staff per shift
  • Taking the temperature of our staff three times a day and using an online system to track any temperature irregularities so that immediate action can be taken
  • Taking all visitors’ temperatures and ensuring they complete a questionnaire so they are traceable; this data is also fed into our online system to track any irregularities
  • Making sanitiser stations available throughout the factory, and providing all staff with the appropriate PPE equipment, such as masks

As a responsible corporate citizen working with responsible businesses like your own, we feel compelled to assist vulnerable members of our society during this difficult time – and provide a way for you to do the same.

So, we have partnered with Simple Sacks and for every R3,500.00 you spend with Tidy Files, we will donate a single Simple Sack to someone in need, and for every R7,000.00 you spend, we will donate a family Simple Sack to a family in need.

Simple Sacks contain non-perishable food items and basic toiletries, and are distributed to people who desperately need them right now. Click here to find out more about this initiative.

 

We can all make a difference. Place your order today and together we will make SA a brighter place one Simple Sack at a time!

Terms and Conditions Apply

  • Offer ends 30 June 2020
  • Excludes products on promotion or discounted products
  • Excludes bulk filers and all related products 
  • Limited to orders of R50,000.00 and less

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - 4 May 2020

We continue to face an enormous challenge as the coronavirus pandemic impacts just about every aspect of our lives. We are very much part of our clients’ business continuity plans and protect information for millions of people. We’re monitoring local conditions in our territories of operation very closely and will adjust as needed.

In South Africa, Tidy Files has noted the nation-wide declaration of a level 4 alert in terms of the national state of disaster declared due to the coronavirus pandemic. We however realise that certain of our clients are on the list of essential services identified by the government that are now allowed to operate as a level 4 essential service provider. Tidy Files is therefore committed to continuing our services to these clients.

We would like to urge all other customers to still follow our normal communication channels to lodge any requests as we will assist you remotely. You will still be able to retrieve images from our hosted platforms, get support with any system related queries or request our scan-on-demand service for any physical document retrievals. Our communication channels are reflected on our website per territory of operation.

Tidy Files continues to ensure the security and confidentiality of all clients’ information.

As a records and information management company, we also have a responsibility to ensure that you can keep on using our services in order to safeguard essential processes and manage your business continuity. To that end, we are taking precautions and adapting our communications and services to the evolving situation. Across our operations, Tidy Files is following the latest health and safety guidelines from the Department of Health and The World Health Organisation. The health and safety of you and our employees are paramount. We are committed to doing our part to prevent further spread of the coronavirus while at the same time safeguarding the continuity of your essential business processes.

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Planning your return-to-work strategy? Here’s why it must include confidential document destruction

As we move from level five to level four in the risk-adjusted national lockdown, many businesses will resume operations next week while others make preparations for when they can once again open their doors.

 

Although sanitising workplaces for employee safety and updating business policies, procedures and continuity plans are all critical aspects of any return-to-work strategy, it’s imperative that this groundwork includes the handling and destruction of end-of-life confidential and sensitive work documents.

 

Why destroy documents properly?

The main drivers for document destruction are to avoid identity theft, to comply with relevant legislation and to reduce workplace clutter.

  • Identity theft

According to TransUnion, South Africa’s largest credit bureau, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.

A person’s identity can be stolen in several ways, from hacking into sites where online purchases have been made to simply stealing mail from postboxes or dustbins. Any document, printed or electronic, that contains personal information puts a person at risk of identity theft.

Companies that deal with personal or confidential information have a responsibility to protect this information. One way in which this can be done is to ensure that documents that contain sensitive information are properly destroyed.

  • Legislative compliance

Compliance with The Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPI) 2013 is mandatory for most companies in South Africa. The act was designed to protect people’s personal information, and forces businesses to consider the way in which they capture, manage and store personal information.

  • Workplace clutter

Minimising paper-based clutter in the workplace is becoming increasingly important as companies look to reduce office space and improve the mental wellness of employees. Apart from the tangible costs, there are many intangible costs associated with clutter in the workplace, including time-wasting, additional stress and business reputation.

A substantial amount of time can be wasted in the absence of a formalised policy that determines what happens to confidential or sensitive documents.

In the Psychology Today article ‘Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies’, psychologist and author Sherrie Bourg Carter maintains that clutter in the workplace causes stress, and inhibits creativity and productivity.

You also run the risk of undermining or severely damaging your company reputation if end-of-life documents are not destroyed properly, and personal information is shared or used illegally.

 

How to tackle document destruction?

A sound understanding of national and industry-specific legislation, as well as how confidential customer and business information flows through companies, are essential to implementing an effective document destruction policy.

 

To prioritise document destruction in your business, follow these guidelines:

  1. Get to know The Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPI) 2013 and its impact on your specific business.
  2. Get to grips with how documents are used and flow through your business. Go as far as to detail the life cycle of various documents, from origination right through to destruction.
  3. Devise a document destruction plan that details who is responsible for destruction, the frequency of destruction and where this will occur.

 

Outsourcing your document destruction

Once you have familiarised yourself with the relevant legislative requirements and your business’s unique document flow, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the task of correctly destroying sensitive data.

 

It’s for this reason that many companies opt to outsource their document destruction. There are numerous benefits to outsourcing this critical function, including:

  • Accessing professionals with efficient processes that save time, money and human resources
  • Eliminating security risks and ensuring compliance
  • Accessing certified destruction certificates
  • Reducing clutter
  • Reducing a business’s environmental footprint, as shredded documents are 100% recycled 

Document destruction is often overlooked, but it should form an important part of your back-to-work strategy in order to comply with local legislation requirements, reduce clutter and better protect your workplace.

 

About Rob Fedder

Rob is the Managing Director of Tidy Files and Cleardata, which are Metrofile Group companies. He has been involved in the paper and electronic document management industry since 2006 and is passionate about helping businesses navigate the complex document management landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 ways to manage confidential documents when working from home

Working from home is not a new trend exclusive to millennials, it’s a practice essential for the survival of most businesses during these extraordinary times. 

Just a quick glance at the internet reveals much inspiration and advice for the new work-from-home employee. There are articles about creating a dedicated workspace at home, following a normal routine as far as possible, protecting yourself against cyber threats and what tools to use to connect with the office and outside world.

However, few of these articles weigh in on how to manage confidential company documents while working from home, and the potential legal and non-compliance fallout as a result. Legislation such the Protection of Personal Information act (PoPI) 2013 applies regardless of where you work from.

Prioritising document security at home

If your company has transitioned to a paperless workplace you can probably access these systems as if you were at the office. But for those whose companies still work with physical documents, here are a few tips to help manage the company paper trail while working from home:

1. Have a clean desk policy

This is not only good for productivity, but will also make you more aware of how you handle confidential and company documentation while working from home. Make it a habit to file away all sensitive or confidential information at the end of your work day.

2. Have a system

Replicate your office filing system at home. You may not have all the filing products available in your home office, but at the very least file according to your company policy. For example, this could be filing by colour, alphabetically or numerically. This will make it quicker and easier to transfer and file the documents when you return to the office.

3. Categorise your filing

It’s important to separate your documents into categories. Here are some suggestions:

  • File for daily use (documents that are used on a daily basis).
  • File for later use (also known as live filing where quick and easy access is required from time to time).
  • File for archiving or long term storage (these documents are required to be kept safely for a specified period according to compliance and legislative requirements).  Store for destruction (all documents that contain sensitive or confidential information that need to be destroyed correctly)

4. Scan and save to the work server

If you have the option to save documents to your company server, consider downloading a mobile scanning app. This allows you to use your phone to scan and save documents according to the same guidelines you would use if you were using an office scanner. This way there is a record of the document and it will probably be backed up.

5. Destruction of documents

As tempting as it is to give documents to the kids to draw on, bin them or burn them in your braai outside, rather find an old shoe box or storage box to keep these documents together, especially if they contain any sensitive data. Label the box with your name, surname, company name and branch name, and keep the box safely stored until you return to the office where the documents can be securely destroyed.

Remember that confidentiality and data privacy obligations apply even if you are working from home, so make sure you handle company documentation the same way you would it as if you were working from your desk in the office.

 

About Rob Fedder

Rob is the Managing Director of Tidy Files and Cleardata, which are Metrofile Group companies. He has been involved in the paper and electronic document management industry since 2006 and is passionate about helping businesses navigate the complex document management landscape.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Company Update

Together, we are facing an enormous challenge as the coronavirus pandemic impacts just about every aspect of our lives. We are very much part of our clients’ business continuity plans and protect information for millions of people. We’re monitoring local conditions in our territories of operation very closely and will adjust as needed.  

In South Africa, Tidy Files & Tidy Files BOS has noted the nation-wide lockdown requirements. We however realise that certain of our clients are on the list of essential services identified by the government that have to remain open during the lockdown. Tidy Files & Tidy Files BOS is therefore committed to continuing our services to these clients and we have made contingency plans for our key staff to be available for urgent requests and back-up services in this regard. 

We would like to urge customers to still follow our normal communication channels to lodge any requests as we will assist you remotely. You will still be able to retrieve images from our hosted platforms, as well as get support with any system related queries. Our communication channels are reflected on our website per territory of operation. 

Tidy Files & Tidy Files BOS continues to ensure the security and confidentiality of all clients’ information.

As a records and information management company, we also have a responsibility to ensure that you can keep on using our services in order to safeguard essential processes and manage your Business Continuity. To that end, we are taking precautions and adapting our communications and services to the evolving situation. Across our operations, Tidy Files & Tidy Files BOS is following the latest health and safety guidelines from the Department of Health and The World Health Organisation. The health and safety of you and our employees are paramount. We are committed to doing our part to prevent further spread of the coronavirus as much as possible while at the same time safeguarding the continuity of your essential business processes.

 

South African Goverment Resouces for all your COVID-19 queries

  • Hotline: 0800 029 999
  • Send 'hi' on whatsapp to 060 012 3456
  • Visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za

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SPRING PROMOTION - Now On

More for Less

Take advantage of our exciting spring promotion. Buy a 5-Drawer Quantum Cabinet and receive files, labels and file collators. Don't miss out on this incredible offer.

What do you get?

- 1 x 5-Drawer Quantum Cabinet
- 200 x Light Weight Files
- 10 x Laser Label Sheets (colour of your choice, alphabetical or numeric)
- 75 x Kraft File collators

Open/View: Click Here to View the Spring Promotion

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Document & Record Management Solutions at your fingertips – enquire now!