US workers admit stealing office supplies

6 August 2007 — Fort Lauderdale (FL): Nearly one fifth of US workers have admitted to stealing office supplies for personal use.

A research study by recruitment firm Spherion found that 19 percent of more than 2,000 workers surveyed admitted to taking supplies from the office over the past year.


Of those who admitted to theft, 21 percent said that they felt guilty or regretted the act.


The main reason for stealing was workers claiming they simply needed the supplies, including pens, pencils, rulers and files. Some of the workers claimed they took the supplies because they had been given permission by their superiors to do so, while others said they stole supplies because their employer would never miss them.


Younger and better paid workers were the most likely to steal from their companies with 25 percent of those admitting to theft being aged between 18 and 29, while only 9 percent of those who had stolen were aged 65 or over. And strangely, 23 percent of workers who had taken supplies earned more than $75,000 a year, while those earning between $15,000 and $34,999 accounted for only 11 percent. The research found that 83 percent of older workers felt that is was wrong to take supplies, more so than any other age group.


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