Office Genie’s online research has found that seemingly simple stationery is causing all manner of issues in Britain’s workplaces. The data calculated that millions fall victim to stationery-related injuries and just under a quarter of staff (24%) are pinching stationery items from under their bosses’ noses. Yet these problems may not even exist in the next ten or more years if stationery becomes redundant in the modern workplace, as 48 per cent of people agree.
The East of England has the biggest culprits when it comes to workplace theft, with 34 per cent admitting to it - they also had the highest rate for stationery-induced injuries at 16 per cent. Workers in Wales are the least likely to partake in stealing items of stationery, joint with the East Midlands at 17 per cent.
In terms of industry, 45 per cent of people in the creative sector have stolen stationery items, making them the worst offenders. Comparatively and perhaps not surprisingly, only 19 per cent of law professionals said they had stolen stationery, the lowest on the list after the Energy and Utilities sector (10%).
Those that admit to stealing stationery do it in spite of thinking there could be a number of outcomes. While 33 per cent think nothing would occur as a result, the majority think it could lead to a warning from their employer (53%). Formal disciplinary procedures (21%), being fired (13%), and even a criminal prosecution (7%) are also conceivable consequences.
The five most common items to steal are pens, envelopes, Post-Its, markers/highlighters, and sticky tape.
Peter Ames, Head of Strategy at OfficeGenie.co.uk said, "it may seem innocuous but stationery is clearly at the heart of a silent storm in the workplace. People flying in the face of disciplinary procedures, and even possible criminal prosecution, just to pilfer supplies from the office.
"We'd advise bosses to pen a solid stationery policy, if they fear theft is becoming a major issue in the workplace. More concerning still are the millions of potential stationery-related injuries in the workplace. While paper-cuts are hard to avoid, communicating care with office equipment should be a staple part of any business."
Learn more about the research here.