Press Release Archive
Companies Could Feel Impact on Operational Costs, Profits
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 10, 2008 – Nearly one in five (19 percent) workers report they have taken office supplies for personal use in the past year, according to a recent Spherion® Workplace Snapshot survey. Of those who admit to having stolen office supplies, only 22 percent felt guilty or regretted the act, despite 74 percent of workers feeling it is wrong to do so. The number of workers who have taken office supplies for personal use remains unchanged from 2007, however the number of workers who feel it was wrong to do so has increased from 69 percent last year.
The primary reason workers give for having taken office supplies for personal use is that they needed them (42 percent). One-third say it was because their boss/office manager said it was OK, and 18 percent say they took office supplies because the company will never miss them. Although the most common types of supplies taken by workers are pens, pencils or rulers (66 percent), paper, post-its or file folders (57 percent), and calculators, staplers or tape dispensers (11 percent), eight percent of workers admit to having taken higher priced items such as laptops, PDAs or cell phones, an increase from three percent last year.
“Given the current economic environment, what may appear to be a harmless act of stealing office supplies may actually have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line,” says John Heins, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Spherion. “Office supplies can be one of the largest expenses for businesses and certainly employees’ abuse of those supplies, either by stealing them or using them for personal use can erode company profits.”
Heins further commented, “It’s important to consider employees’ intentions regarding the personal use of office supplies. With one in five workers putting in ‘excessive’ time on the job according to the U.N.’s International Labour Office, it is certainly possible that employees simply don’t regard the personal use of office supplies as stealing, rather a matter of convenience or a small reward for their hard work.”
The survey also finds that male workers are more likely to have taken office supplies than their female counterparts, with 20 percent vs. 17 percent respectively. Male workers are also less likely to feel it is wrong to do so (68 percent vs. 70 percent of female workers), and less likely to feel guilty or regret the act (19 percent vs. 22 percent of female workers).
The May 2008 Spherion® Workplace Snapshot was conducted online within the United by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation between May 7-9, 2008 among a U.S. sample of 2,137 employed adults, aged 18 years and older. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About the Spherion Workplace Snapshot
As part of the Spherion Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, the monthly Spherion Workplace Snapshot provides workers' perspectives on a wide range of issues affecting them in the workplace. Topics include burnout, office parties, supervisor relationships and workplace romance.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for more than 60 years, Spherion has sourced, screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs.
With approximately 700 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing more than 300,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America's largest employers. Spherion operates under the following brands: Spherion Staffing Services Group for administrative, clerical and light industrial workers; Technisource for technology professionals and solutions; The Mergis Group for accounting and finance and other professional positions; Todays Staffing for specialty administrative personnel; and Spherion Recruitment Process Outsourcing. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com.
About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.