Studies show workplace theft is widespread practice

Published On: May 16 2013 04:06:46 AM EDT

If you think stealing office supplies from work is no big deal, you are not alone.

An anonymous survey conducted by Kessler International of 500 company employees in varying retail and service industries 52% of those surveyed indicated that they have stolen items such as pens, pads, note pads, labels, folders, toilet paper and other office supplies for personal use.

Other studies put the number as high as 75%.

Chances are, in your drawers at home you’ll find a few of the most commonly stolen office items: Post-It notes, tape, scissors and highlighters.

Employees also confessed to printing large documents for themselves and their spouses, their children’s school projects and other personal uses, often printing in color. A small percentage of those who admitted to stealing office supplies indicated that they also took items of greater worth such as USB drives, blank printable CDs, staplers, telephone chargers and computer accessories.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reports “sticky fingers” activity costs companies $50 billion per year. And companies are not taking this sitting down. Private investigators, hidden cameras, and background checks are being used to identify workplace thieves.


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