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Revealed: A fifth of employees admit to stealing from their place of work

2017-01-11 04:25:22

Research carried out by a label website has revealed that 20% of people have stolen something from where they work. Additionally 36% would consider stealing from work if the need or opportunity arose. The most common items found to be stolen from work include; stationary, food and toilet rolls. The more popular reasoning given for the theft is that most employees think no one would notice.

To find out levels of theft in work places, labelling website www.data-label.co.uk surveyed 1,986 UK adults aged over 18, asking: "Have you ever stolen something from your place of work?" 80% said they had never stolen anything from work, however 20% had. Those who had stolen from their place of work were then asked: "What did you steal?" The most popular responses are broken down below:

1. Stationary
2. Food Company and other staff members
3. Toilet roll

They then asked: "Why did you steal from work? The majority of respondents (85%) said because; they didn't think anyone would notice, however 8% said that they stole because they believed that they deserved more from the company. Whilst the remainder said that they didn't care.

The respondents who had said they had not stolen from their place of work, were also asked: "Would you ever consider stealing from work?" The majority (83%) said no, the 17% who said they would consider stealing were then asked what they would steal and why. As with those that had previous stolen the most popular choice was stationary, and the reason given was also the same they believed stealing something small like stationary would go unnoticed.

Those surveyed who had not stolen anything from their place of work and would not either in future said they wouldn't because; "stealing is wrong, no matter where from" and "it is also a crime and should not be taken lightly".

Philip Carlyn, Managing Director of Data-Label said "It is probably not as uncommon as people think; stealing from work, even if it's something as small as toilet roll or tea bags in an emergency. As we can see from our results there are varying reasons why some people think stealing from work is acceptable. Although the news stories of fraud or embezzlement are not the norm for many employees, rather theft of goods or products seem to be the most common."

He added:
"For many people there is a sense of entitlement, especially if employees feel undervalued or do not believe that they are being paid a fair wage. They also feel like they are not hurting anyone either, especially with some of the smaller thefts admitted. However over time those stealing costs can add up for companies, I wonder if people would re-consider if they knew that company theft of small items and stationary was responsible for a delayed wage increase.




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