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In the company I am working at they have really high quality equipment in the office. There's really good wireless mice and keyboards in the office. They are intended to be used only in the office. However, it was noticed that these equipment sometimes disappear from the office. Apparently some employees are taking them home.

The only action taken by the management is to ask people repeatedly not to remove any equipment. However the issue still happens from time to time and recently the management mentioned that they may resort to getting less fancy wired mice and keyboards so that people stop taking them.

I am not in the management side but I think there's better action I can suggest them to take. The only concern I think preventing them from taking action is not to ruin the office atmosphere. The company in general has good atmosphere and cares for employees wellbeing and I think that's preventing them from taking more aggressive actions (e.g. tracking an incident of this and punishing involved employees). Some people are abusing this.

What do you think the appropriate action to take in this case to prevent people from taking equipment while keeping the positive atmosphere?

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    Are the items dissapearing from the office later on returning to it? Or are we talking plain old theft here? And how can you be sure that management didn't reach out privately to some of the offenders?
    – Aida Paul
    Aug 30, 2023 at 16:16
  • @TymoteuszPaul Maybe they reached out but from their communication it seems that the culprits are unknown. They once asked anyone who has any equipment to return it in a box placed in the office. I don't have more insight as I am not directly involved in this Aug 30, 2023 at 16:28
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    By "taking home", do you mean over night (maybe seen as "borrowing" if you want to find an excuse), or does it vanish forever (aka stealing, not there when needed for work, no excuse)?
    – nvoigt
    Aug 30, 2023 at 18:38
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    What do you think the appropriate action to take in this case to prevent people from taking equipment while keeping the positive atmosphere? - The appropriate action is for you to let management deal with it however they see fit. I understand your concern, but this isn't your concern.
    – joeqwerty
    Aug 30, 2023 at 23:12
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    Mind your own business, friend.
    – Xavier J
    Aug 31, 2023 at 17:37

3 Answers 3

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If you aren't directly involved in this, the appropriate action for YOU to take is mostly not to take equipment home yourself, and stay out of the way as management works to solve this.

The appropriate action for management to take is going to depend on a great many details you have not included in your question. Announcing that taking equipment home without management permission is "a career-limiting action" and potentially a firing offense, so people should take advantage of the amnesty to anonymously return or replace stuff NOW, might be appropriate if lesser efforts have failed.

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This has nothing to do with you unless you're taking your equipment home, so stay out of it.

Management has lots of recourses and if it's a serious enough issue they can easily solve it. At the moment you are just making assumptions. Usually in a situation like this, it's a single staff member who is knowingly taking equipment despite warnings...or.... it's outsiders, like the cleaners or security personnel.

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These types of problems are best solved with management working with the IT department.

There are questions on superuser about techniques for detecting when usb devices are unplugged. If management/IT currently has or installs software that monitors for these events they can be cross referenced with security footage from around that time or trigger a script on the computer that causes the web camera to take a picture to determine the culprit.

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