Watchful Eye: 5 Office Crimes Your Employees Could Be Committing

businessman-workplace-office-computer-laptop-suitTrue office criminals exist — those people who steal from the  company, misuse resources, or resort to blackmail. But another kind of office criminal exists, too. This person isn’t as dangerous to the health of the business, but he or she is a threat to the sanity of everyone else that’s trying to share the same office space with him or her.

Although the following five office crimes are relatively small, they’re endlessly annoying.

Stealing Someone’s Lunch

Imagine you took the effort to make yourself a really great lunch one day complete with your favorite foods and even a dessert. But when you go to the fridge at noon to eat it, your fabulous meal is gone. One of the most annoying office criminals is the lunch thief. Suddenly your soda, your apples, even the little sauce packets you got at Taco Bell aren’t safe. To catch a food thief, post signs on the refrigerator, put your name on your food, and store anything that doesn’t need to be refrigerated at your desk. Or, you could concoct the grossest sandwich on Earth and wait for your little thief to find and eat it.

Calling in “Sick”

Sometimes people pretend to be sick to get a day off, especially if there’s a long meeting or a pile of work to get done. How do you catch these people? Well, the least cunning of them will post on social media about their day-off activities. The smarter ones know to stay home and Netflix binge without telling anyone, so some of these culprits might slip through the cracks. But if you enjoy the detective work of creeping up on office “criminals” and figuring out whether those sick days are really needed, maybe you ought to pursue a [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]bachelor’s in criminology[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]bachelor’s in criminology[/tp] to find your true calling.

Leaving a Common Space Messy

It’s not a hanging offense, but everyone hates the guy who leaves the microwave crusted with food, the copier stacked with papers, and the conference room in shambles. So make sure employees leave things the way they found them. It only takes a few minutes to clean up small messes. To stop people from dirtying common spaces without cleaning them up, consider making a list of rules or etiquette guidelines for using the kitchen and the conference rooms. If you’re daring, you could try to catch the messy culprit in the act and making a pointed comment.

Complaining About Everything

We all have bad days — no work circumstance is perfect. No matter how much you love your job, there will always be that client, coworker, employee, or manager who makes you grind your teeth and bite your tongue. Don’t be the person who causes office noise pollution by whining loudly about a new assignment or a meeting you don’t want to attend. If you hear someone complaining and want to stop them, the best idea is to not engage them. Otherwise, they’ll have something new to complain about — you.

Bad Hygiene

Of all the office criminals you don’t want to be, the person who smells funky is at the top of the list — and both supervisors and employees are potential culprits. Unfortunately, myriad ways to be this person exist, so you want to stay away from all of them. Wear deodorant, brush your teeth after lunch, and don’t put on too much perfume or cologne.

Similarly, if you’re sick with a cough or a runny nose, don’t go to work and get other people sick. But if you’re stuck on the other side of the equation, and need to figure out how to tell someone else they smell weird or don’t look clean, good luck. It’s going to be awkward for you and that person, so keep it short and be as nice as you can. Unlike other office crimes, this one is as embarrassing for the culprit as it is for everyone else.

If you have a food thief, a mess-maker, or a work-skipper on your hands, don’t fear. You don’t need to hire office police to reduce these annoying workplace crimes!

3 thoughts on “Watchful Eye: 5 Office Crimes Your Employees Could Be Committing”

  1. I guess you can almost find bad hygiene people in all office. You can’t do much about them, they generally don’t want to change and keep their own excuses to do so.

  2. Hey Emily,
    Great Article, all these above mentioned points are quiet common in every office and are really really annoying.
    I believe one must give or post some strict guidelines regarding maintaining the office hygiene. Get them notified via app or email regarding rules from time to time.

  3. Hahaha… I totally pulled the “grossest sandwich” on the thief at my office. They kept stealing my 20oz bottles of mountain dew, so one day i brought in an ordinary looking bottle of dew and put it in the fridge – but instead of dew, it contained urine. Looked right, was nice and cold, and even had an intact “crack ring” around the cap.

    It disappeared. And after that day, nothing went missing out of the office fridge again.



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