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Stealing from employers considered “perk of the job”

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“In this life, one thing counts, in the bank, large amounts – I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees, you’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two.” That was the mentality of Fagin, the sticky-fingered ringleader of adolescent crooks like the Artful Dodger, from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Seemingly, British office workers have been inspired by the novel and musical, as an alarming number have admitted to raiding their offices of supplies.

Indeed, a majority of 61 per cent said they had helped themselves to goods from the business, pocketing everything from pens to toilet roll, according to the CartridgePeople.com.

Pens were the most commonly snatched items and commandeered by 80 per cent, while 40 per cent pilfered post-it notes, followed by 32 per cent and 25 per cent who took notepads and highlighters respectively.

Read more on the oddities of the office environment:

Elsewhere, other valuable must-have items to find themselves too important for mere desk duty resulted in blu-tack getting nabbed by 16 per cent and USB memory sticks claimed by six per cent.

Entering even more ludicrous territory, the study found that six per cent took tea bags home, three per cent unscrewed and snatched lightbulbs, as well as ink cartridges, while two per cent took home mugs – perhaps to accompany that delicious free tea.

“If you’ve ever wondered why there are never any pens in the office or no toilet roll in the toilets, you now have an explanation. Most office workers may feel that taking something from their office isn’t real theft and instead consider it a perk of the job, but the costs can add up for businesses,” said Andrew Davies, a spokesperson for CartridgePeople.com.

“People often instinctively put pens in their bags and can take notepads and highlighter pens home to their kids to help with their homework. However, the number of people who admitted taking tea bags and light bulbs suggests there could be a deeper problem that bosses should be aware of.”

Image: Shutterstock

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