Many of us spend the majority of our week in the workplace, with our colleagues, managers and bosses, ensuring that our work is done. For roughly eight hours a day, five days a week this is our life.
What would you think if we told you that most Britons admit to stealing from their workplace? Would you be shocked? Would you already have a name in your head of someone in your office that you think is likely to be stealing? Or would you have a red, guilty face?
We decided to poll 2,106 British office workers to determine their thoughts on stealing from the office, and whether or not they had ‘sticky fingers’.
Two In Three Steal From The Office
We started out by asking all respondents if they’d ever stolen anything from the office, where we found out that over two thirds (67%) have.
When asked why they’d stolen from the office, the most common reasons cited were ‘I needed something that I didn’t have the time or money to buy for myself’ (34%), ‘I wanted it, so I took it’ (26%) and ‘I knew the company wouldn’t notice that it was gone’ (25%).
Missing: Stationery And Toilet Rolls
With so many admitting to stealing from the office, we wanted to know what it was they were most likely to steal.
We revealed the top five items were:
- Stationery (71%)
- Toilet rolls (52%)
- Food and drink (44%)
- Personal items from a colleague’s desk (11%)
- Cleaning products (10%)
Personal Vendettas Lead To Theft
Wait, people actually steal from their colleagues?!
Those who admitted that they did steal from their colleague’s desks on occasion were asked why. The majority admitted that they stole when they were arguing with a colleague, or were at least mad at them for something (41%) or they stole because they were jealous (11%).
Thankfully though, those who stole from their colleagues guessed that the items they stole were worth on average £7.50. We just hope they weren’t personal items – that’s taking it a little too far.
One in Seven Has Lost Their Job
We wanted to know if the thieves had gone on to lose their job, but alarmingly 73% stated they’d never been caught (although 39% of these admitted that colleagues were aware that items were going missing).
Of the 27% who did get caught red handed, over half (51%) were caught by people who didn’t care that they were stealing, whilst one in seven (13%) admitted they’d lost their job.
Although it’s no real surprise that some go on to lose their jobs when you realise that office workers are likely to steal either once or twice per month (37%), once or twice per week (29%) or only really when they need to (22%).
...Does this make anyone else think of that episode from FRIENDS when Ross’ boss took his sandwich from the fridge and ate it??