Whether it’s belongings going walkabout at work or more serious cases of theft, missing items can cause chaos and frustration. It’s a common feeling, with over 60% of UK workers saying they’ve had things disappear from desks whilst at work, ranging from stationery stealing to phone chargers, paperwork, calculators and even gadgets going missing.
A study of 1000 UK workers was commissioned by Avery for Hands Off Week back in September and found that light-fingered colleagues aren’t the only reason for missing items. Lost property is a huge issue too, with almost half of Brits admitting to losing or leaving behind something important and never getting it back.
Avery’s Fiona Mills commented:
“Realising something important has been left behind or gone missing, especially at work, is frustrating at best and in the worst cases can actually affect a company’s ability to work effectively. In fact, 14% of the businesses we spoke to said important equipment or tools of the trade go missing several times a year. Yet there are some very simple steps businesses can take to help deter theft and improve the chances of lost property being returned. Labelling company property or displaying effective signage could help make all the difference.
Hands Off Week was introduced by Avery to raise awareness of these issues, through looking at both the light-hearted and the more serious side to lost property and missing possessions.”
There certainly is a serious side to things going missing; the Hands Off Week research revealed the average annual cost to businesses of theft and things going missing can be in the thousands. Worryingly, in the last year a quarter of UK businesses reported gadgets including laptops, mobile phones and tablets going missing or being stolen too. Proper labelling of possessions may be one solution with over half of respondents feeling that this can act as a deterrent when it comes to theft.
Some of the stranger items reported missing or stolen from UK workplaces included a shed, an office chair, toilet roll, a chainsaw, a stress ball and hairnets. Almost a third of people had also experienced food theft in the workplace, with items being taken from the fridge, their desks, lunch boxes or the company kitchen.
When it came to finding out who was behind office pilfering, of the businesses who had investigated the matter, middle ranking employees were the most likely culprits in almost a quarter of cases. This was followed by bosses who were found to be responsible in 17% of cases.
Have you ever had things go awol from your desk? Feel free to leave your comments below.