• Stationery stealing and desktop disappearances a problem for over 60% of UK offices

        • Lost property and missing possessions are in the spotlight this week as Avery’s Hands Off Week returns for the second year. Whether it’s belongings going walkabout at work or more serious cases of theft, missing items can cause chaos and frustration. It’s a common feeling, with over 60% of UK workers saying they've had things disappear from desks whilst at work, ranging from stationery stealing to phone chargers, paperwork, calculators and even gadgets going missing.

          A study of 1000 UK workers was commissioned by Avery for Hands Off Week and found that light-fingered colleagues aren't the only reason for missing items. Lost property is a huge issue too, with almost half of Brits admitting to losing or leaving behind something important and never getting it back. Avery’s Fiona Mills commented:

          “Realising something important has been left behind or gone missing, especially at work, is frustrating at best and in the worst cases can actually affect a company’s ability to work effectively. In fact, 14% of the businesses we spoke to said important equipment or tools of the trade go missing several times a year. Yet there are some very simple steps businesses can take to help deter theft and improve the chances of lost property being returned. Labelling company property or displaying effective signage could help make all the difference. Hands Off Week is here to raise awareness of these issues, through looking at both the light-hearted and the more serious side to lost property and missing possessions.”

          There certainly is a serious side to things going missing; the Hands Off Week research revealed the average annual cost to businesses of theft and things going missing can be in the thousands. Worryingly, in the last year a quarter of UK businesses reported gadgets including laptops, mobile phones and tablets going missing or being stolen too. Proper labelling of possessions may be one solution with over half of respondents feeling that this can act as a deterrent when it comes to theft.

          Some of the stranger items reported missing or stolen from UK workplaces included a shed, an office chair, toilet roll, a chainsaw, a stress ball and hairnets. Almost a third of people had also experienced food theft in the workplace, with items being taken from the fridge, their desks, lunchboxes or the company kitchen.

          When it came to finding out who was behind office pilfering, of the businesses who had investigated the matter, middle ranking employees were the most likely culprits in almost a quarter of cases. This was followed by bosses who were found to be responsible in 17% of cases.

          Taking place 14th – 18th September 2015 Hands Off Week is encouraging people to take simple steps to ensure the safety and security of their possessions at home, work and on the move. Whether it’s deterring theft with signage or applying specialist labels from the Avery Protection & Security range to company property, Hands Off Week will offer plenty of practical tips, advice and support. There will also be chances to win all sorts of prizes from the Avery Lost Property Box. The box is bursting with mystery items to be won, check out the Avery UK Facebook and Twitter channels to enter.

          To take part in Hands Off Week, try your luck with the Avery Lost Property Box or find out more about the great range of Protection & Security products available from Avery, visit www.handsoffweek.co.uk.  

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