Question: Is it unethical to use electricity from the workplace for
personal use at home? Obviously, the amount that I am using is
While it would be unusual to recharge batteries brought in from home, I suspect the few pennies per year it would cost to recharge a phone won't be any more a problem for your workplace than it would be for you.
If you aren't sure if this is permissible, you could ask your boss first, or you could look around and see if any of your coworkers have anything plugged in that isn't specifically work-related. You could even ask the office manager.
Barring that, you could just plug it in, and see if anyone complains about it. If they do, you could just apologize for not knowing the rules, and then stop using their electricity.
So unethical? Perhaps not. Unusual? Perhaps. Too unusual to be bothered with at work? Maybe.
I took a business ethics class back in college that had some interesting approaches toward deciding if you should think something is "ethical" or not.
One way to think about this ethically would be to ask yourself: "If someone asks me where these batteries will be used after I charge them, would I feel uneasy about telling them that I'll use them at home and that I'm trying to save money by using work electricity rather than using my home electricity?" and "What would my mother think if she learned I was doing this?"
Another way to think about it ethically is to ask yourself "If I think it's okay to recharge a bunch of home batteries at work, is it okay to take spring water home? Is it okay to take home pens and paper? How about some coffee and creamers? Where can I draw the line?"
And yet another way to think about it is to ask yourself "What if everyone did what I'm doing? Would that be okay?"