Five Facts of Office Theft: Protecting your Assets

| June 23, 2013

Five Facts of Office Theft: Protecting your Assets

According to a major pen manufacturer, a hundred percent of office employees admitted to stealing pens from work. Although a missing pen is nothing to call the police over, missing materials and lost time can add up quickly and cost your business. Ken Myers outlines five office resources that could be costing you more than you realize.

Every organization tries to practice loss prevention through various means. Whether it’s reducing utility bills, improved methods of inventory control, or implementing stronger security measures, loss prevention can be a full-time task. The office locale is no different. While there may not be merchandise readily available on shelves to stick in a pocket and walk out with, there is a great deal of money that is squandered by various organizations due to office theft. It’s not often that someone can steal a copier or perhaps a printer, but the risk is still present.

1. Pens

One of the most stolen items in any organization, pens have a habit of walking off seemingly on their own. According to Papermate, 100-percent of office employees admitted to stealing pens from work. Of those individuals, 20-percent stole the pen on purpose. Although pens are cheap to replace, this cost adds up over the year. Depending on your organizations taste of writing utensils, you could be spending hundreds of pounds more per year in pen replacement costs.

2. Incorrect time management

There are many who try to manipulate the system by taking advantage of its weak-points. Did you know that in 2011, a healthcare worker in Salisbury was jailed for nearly two years after defrauding his employer for over 60,000-pounds? In some organizations, holes within the system can cost the employer a great deal of money over time. There are many ways to monitor a person’s activity and it may be in your best interest to invest in methods for efficiency.

3. Online waste

In an office environment with open Internet access, it is easy to lose oneself, if even for a moment, throughout the day surfing the Internet. Approximately 95 minutes per week is lost to employees catching waves on this digital beach. On average, this accounts for 939-pounds lost annually by the employer per employee. In order to prevent this lost time, many organizations have implemented firewalls that only show pertinent online content to the business.

4. Other office supplies

Although pens are stolen far more often than any other item in the workplace, other goods can come up missing as well. Paper products such as notebooks and sticky pads make up a large portion of office expenses throughout the year. Replacing these items can begin to add up over time. Among other items that wind up in someone’s pocket are: paperclips, tape dispensers, and even staplers.

5. Paid sick leave

Every year, millions of people around the globe will fake being sick at least once in order to have an extra paid day off. As this paid time off is supposed to be used as an emergency case to prevent other coworkers from becoming infected and the recuperation of the afflicted employee, how often do you have to deal with those who are caught golfing on days they were supposed to be in bed with a fever?

When it comes to office supplies and other consumables within the workplace, it’s very difficult to track down who is stealing what. Although a missing ballpoint pen is usually nothing to call the police over, missing materials add up quickly. This problem may never be truly solved unless your organization moves to a bring-your-own-tool method of conducting business. However, who is to say that one employee won’t steal those BYOT goods from another?


Ken Myers is the founder of Longhorn Leads and has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.