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NextGen Magazine


Workplace Theft on the Rise

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Feb 12, 2019

Office managers may want to install more locks on the supply closet, because the Atlantic has reported that the theft of noncash items by workers from their employers is on the rise. Employees' share of corporate theft losses has roughly doubled between 2002 and 2018, going from 10.6 percent to 21 percent. Managers, aware of this phenomenon, are reported to be routinely ordering 20 percent more supplies than necessary because they know workers are going to be stealing them (or they may even be doing it themselves!) While many of the commonly pilfered items are fairly prosaic—things like post-it notes, pens and paper clips—some have admitted to stealing items like Windex, a fake Christmas tree and even an office chair. 

One reason for the rise in theft might be that employees are less supervised than they were in the past, and that the internet has made it easier to sell stolen goods (in the case where the theft is more than petty). Another might have to do with, frankly, vengeance: A BBC article said that many steal from their employer because they feel wronged, or at least mistreated, believing that their employers broke a promise to them, and so they in turn felt no need for loyalty.