What fascinating results from my stealing of office supplies survey! It looks like the majority of people thought there was some wiggle room in the word "steal." I couldn't really clarify what I meant in the question because of space issues, but basically, if you steal office supplies, you remove office supplies from work for personal use.
I asked the question because of a few recent surveys about the majority of workers admitting to stealing office supplies. From Plants, Decor, Furniture among the items workers admit to stealing:
Turns out the majority of office workers (58%) have taken office supplies for their personal use.... Among those who admit to taking office supplies for personal use, the most commonly stolen office supplies include pens/pencils (77%), followed by self-adhesive "sticky" notes (44%) and paper clips (40%). Some employees (2%) are even taking decorations like plants, paintings and office furniture (2%).
Another survey gives 67% as the percent of workers who have stolen office supplies. And in a third survey concerning stealing office supplies only within the last year, nearly a quarter of younger workers admit to stealing office supplies while only 13% of workers over 50 admit to stealing. And, also interesting to me, only 1 in 5 younger workers (18-24 years old) don't think it's stealing to take office supplies for personal use.
So where does this leave us? I think some of the stealing of literally 50 billion dollars worth of office supplies in the U.S. each year is related to workers feeling mistreated and as if they deserve a pen or post-its from work. Just a hypothesis. I'm open to hearing your own hypotheses.