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Published on September 16th, 2014 | by Sally Wenham

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Stealing Items From The Office: The Facts

In April, we posted a piece on office stationery going missing from the workplace. In this article we found that pens were the most commonly ‘borrowed’ items along with Post-it Notes and highlighters. However we have now found further information which describes the scale of this often unnoticed occurrence.

In a survey of 1,500 office workers conducted by mailroom accessories firm Versapak, it was found that over a quarter of employees surveyed admitted to stealing items from the office. Although only 28% openly disclosed this information, over half of the participants stated they would do so if they were certain that they would not be caught.

The poll found that of the reported incidents, stationery was stolen in 79% of cases; which is consistent with our earlier findings. Raiding the office kitchens proved popular too, with 28% of participants confessing to relieving their employers of plates and cutlery. The most worrying aspect for businesses however, is that 12% admitted to pilfering over £1,000 worth of goods from their employer.

To the contrary, half of the survey’s respondents did state that they would never pinch office items because ‘stealing is wrong’. However, 57% of those asked did admit to witnessing office pilfering and not reporting it.

As much as it may seem tempting to take home that fancy pen lurking on a workstation, be aware that stealing from the office is an act of gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal immediately and without notice.

There are certain factors that would be considered before an employer makes this decision however, such as length of service at a company and a previous disciplinary history. Whilst here at the Post Office Shop we love all things stationery related, clearly there are instances when individuals take things a little too far!

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