Most people have at some stage been a victyên of office food theft. Whether it's your mê say salad sandwich or the last slice of your favourite chocolate cake, we've sầu all experienced that sinking feeling when you open the fridge only to discover your eagerly anticipated lunch or snaông chồng has in fact gone missing! We recently conducted a survey khổng lồ investigate just how prevalent food theft is in the office and khổng lồ discover the best ways lớn protect your food from being pinched in the work place.
Our survey has revealed that an estimated £121m* worth of food has been stolen in UK offices during the last year. We’ve sầu teamed up with independent retìm kiếm agency Sapio & surveyed 1,013 office workers. We found that almost half (46%) of the UK’s estimated 12.5m office workforce have been a victim of food theft in the last 12 months.
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A closer look reveals that the issue is significantly more prevalent in larger offices with over 250 employees where greater anonymity seems lớn be a welcome cover for food poachers. Here, the average annual loss of those affected climbs to lớn £29.62 per person, compared khổng lồ a national average of £17.35. This is more than 3 times higher than the £9.16 that is stolen from people in smaller offices of 50 people or less.
Corresponding with the finding that being surrounded by ‘nameless’ colleagues in large offices seems khổng lồ encourage food theft, over half of survey respondents (57%) say that labelling food with their names is an effective sầu preventative measure to secure their items in fridges và cupboards within the office. This puts it top of the most effective sầu ways to combat food theft tested in our research. Taking it one step further, as many as 47% say that attaching light-hearted sticky-notes addressed to lớn the would-be assailants is also fruitful. However, while some may wish to avoid face-to-face encounters, potential office thieves need lớn be aware that as many as 44% of their colleagues would confront the main suspect directly.
A considerable amount of office workers also vị not seem lớn shy away from more extreme measures: almost a third (32%) believe sầu an effective way khổng lồ prsự kiện snack-theft is by booby-trapping the food (e.g. shaking fizzy drinks pre-opening), while 31% think that installing CCTV cameras would vì chưng the triông xã. Additionally, nearly a quarter (23%) take an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ approach, saying revenge theft is the best protection method.
We found that drinks such as milk, tea and coffee, along with sauces were the food items most likely lớn be taken by colleagues, with small amounts missing often going unnoticed. 13% of respondents admitted khổng lồ using another colleague’s milk previously, while 8% admitted to lớn having taken tea, coffee & squash, và 6% using co-workers’ ketchup và mayonnaise without permission.
*The estimate is based on the national mean value of food items stolen in the office. This mean value was then multiplied with the estimated overall number of UK office workers – based on the lademo ONS statistics on the number of full-time employees in the following professions: