Staff who sneaked something out from work were more likely to have taken pens than any other item (80%), followed by post-it notes (40%), notepads (32%) and highlighters (25%) - one in ten admitted to stealing toilet rolls from the office toilets to take home.
Staff also confessed to unscrewing light bulbs (3%) and taking tea bags home (6%), according to the survey of more than 2,000 office workers by the online cartridge retailer, CartridgePeople.com.
Other popular items stolen included Blu-Tack (16%), USB memory sticks (6%) and ink cartridges (3%). Additionally, two per cent of workers owned up to making off with mugs from the office kitchen.
Andrew Davies, a spokesperson for CartridgePeople.com, said, 'If you’ve ever wondered why there are never any pens in the office or no toilet roll in the toilets, you now have an explanation! Most office workers may feel that taking something from their office isn’t real theft and instead consider it a perk of the job, but the costs can add up for businesses. People often instinctively put pens in their bags and can take notepads and highlighter pens home to their kids to help with their homework. However, the number of people who admitted taking tea bags and light bulbs suggests there could be a deeper problem that bosses should be aware of.'