The increasing ride of white-collar crime

As businesses recognise the need to update their office equipment along with increasingly advanced technology, the value of the items found in any given office also rises.

While these technological items continue to become more prominent and useful to the office worker, they also increase the risk of targeted theft from a wide range of opportunists.

Businesses often hope to compete with their piers with the use of expensive office equipment and decoration, such as desks, chairs and entertainment features. While most companies will have protection against theft from outside sources, there is a growing risk of the office worker committing white collar crime against their own workplace.

How trustworthy are your employees?
The average office worker may confess to taking a pen or note pad home from work without permission, but will generally conform to the fact that office equipment belongs in the office. Thanks to the financial strain that affects all office workers, a small number may become more tempted to take something of significantly more value.

There has been a direct correlation between the rise of technology use in offices with the rise of white collar crime. Laptops, tablets and smart phones are all accessed by workers in their offices as they are required to remain relevant in business, but the temptation to commit crime has risen considerably.

Office responsibility
A recent confidential survey has revealed the thoughts of the UK’s office workers, showing the inner thoughts that the working public have about their office spaces. One of the most surprising stats to have come from the survey are the 20 per cent of workers who say that, if their work technology was stolen or damaged, they would be responsible for replacing the item.

The office workers were also asked about the security measures at their workplaces, which are shockingly low. Only 28 per cent of staff said that their workplaces had security cameras and as little as 17 per cent said that the business used locks on the doors to rooms containing expensive equipment.

Confessing their sins

The subject of actual office theft arose in the survey, revealing the secret thefts of the office workers. Over half of those surveyed said that they had never stolen anything from their workplace, which should be somewhat comforting to businesses owners, but of course that leaves the fact that some had in fact stolen.

When asked, 13 per cent confessed to stealing something from the office with a value between £1 and £5. These thefts are likely to be paper, notepads and other forms of stationary, meaning that while the theft itself shouldn’t go ignored, it is reasonably low value. While only a few confessed to stealing something with a value of around £50, 6 per cent said that they had taken something over £51.

Perhaps most surprisingly, 15 per cent felt that, should they ever decide to steal technology from their workplace, they felt safe that they would not be discovered by their bosses and would probably face no consequences. It might be time to up the office security in order to protect the businesses assets  not from outside forces, but those based on the inside.