Three fifths of employees admit to stealing from their office

Some 61 per cent of workers have stolen items from their office ranging from toilet rolls to mugs, finds research.

Staff who sneaked something out from work are more likely to have taken pens than any other item (80 per cent), followed by post-it notes (40 per cent), notepads (32 per cent) and highlighters (25 per cent).

One in ten admit to stealing toilet rolls from the office toilets to take home.

Staff also confess to unscrewing light bulbs (3 per cent) and taking tea bags home (6 per cent), according to the survey of more than 2,000 office workers by the online cartridge retailer,

Other popular items stolen included Blu-Tack (16 per cent), USB memory sticks (6 per cent) and ink cartridges (3 per cent). Additionally, two per cent of workers owned up to making off with mugs from the office kitchen.

Andrew Davies, a spokesperson for, says, ‘If you’ve ever wondered why there are never any pens in the office or no toilet roll in the toilets, you now have an explanation!

‘Most office workers may feel that taking something from their office isn’t real theft and instead consider it a perk of the job, but the costs can add up for businesses.’

People often instinctively put pens in their bags and can take notepads and highlighter pens home to their kids to help with their homework, adds Davies.

‘However, the number of people who admitted taking tea bags and light bulbs suggests there could be a deeper problem that bosses should be aware of.’

Further reading on stealing from the workplace

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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