Light Fingered Employees May Be Costing Firms

It is the responsibility of employers to provide their staff members with suitable desks, chairs, storage products and other pieces of equipment to help ensure they are able to go about their tasks safely and effectively. If they fail to achieve this, firms can end up facing a range of problems.

For example, productivity may decline, which is bad news for companies’ bottom lines. Also, bosses might find they are subject to furniture at work complaints. Meanwhile, the health and wellbeing of staff members may be compromised. To help ensure they avoid such complications, managers might be keen to conduct furniture at work reviews.

Meanwhile, it is important for bosses to keep an eye on the furniture and equipment they provide their workers with. Although the majority of individuals are honest and trustworthy, it seems as though some are taking advantage of their employers. In a survey of 1,500 British workers conducted by Versapak, more than a quarter of respondents admitted to stealing things from their workplaces.

Of the individuals polled, 27 per cent confessed to taking things without permission from their employers. Furthermore, half of the people questioned noted that they would steal items from their workplaces if they could be certain they would get away with it.

Perhaps most worryingly of all for businesses, 12 per cent of respondents stated they had pilfered over £1,000 worth of goods.

Popular items among thieves included pens and staplers, while plates and cutlery were also common targets.

The main reason given for such light fingered activity was the belief that companies would not miss the stolen items, while some respondents suggested that they worked so hard it was within their rights to take products.

It was also revealed that 57 per cent of the workers polled had witnessed security malpractice but had failed to report it.

Responding to the figures, group managing director of Versapak Leon Edwards said: “The majority of employees are honest and hardworking, which seems to be evidenced by our poll. However, there is always the minority who are willing to push the boundaries and ‘take something back’ so to speak. And it seems that if they felt they weren’t likely to get caught, this percentage increases.”

He added: “Workplace security should be of paramount importance to businesses. The business, its customers and its own employees depend on working in a secure working environment.”

Overly oppressive security practices can backfire for companies. If employees feel there is too much of a lack of trust between them and their managers, morale can plummet and this can impact on productivity, as well as harming the recruitment and retention of talented workers.

However, it is important for businesses to protect their resources, so bosses can benefit from implementing reasonable and proportionate security measures. Striking the right balance of security and trust can help to protect valuable resources, including furniture at work, while also propagating good employee relations.

Meanwhile, if and when firms do need to replace workplace furniture, whether this is due to theft or anything else, they can head online and take their pick from a wide range of items.

About the author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who contributes regularly to a wide range of workplace furniture sites, including Furniture At Work™.

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