3 Design Concepts that Prevent Theft at Work

Posted on Nov 6 2013 - 7:25am by Guest Contributor

 James AndersonJames Anderson is a writer for School Lockers and has unfortunately fallen victim to workplace theft in his career.

Well thought out interior design has many advantages. It can not only breathe new life into an old space, but can also increase functionality in an office setting. Most people wouldn’t ever see design as a deterrent to crime in the workplace, but when applied effectively, it can quell office theft and lend to a better and brighter work environment in the future. If you or your employees have fallen victim to interoffice theft recently there may be some options for you.


Of the many aspects of working in an office, storage space is one of the least attractive. Although completely necessary, storage is just one of those things that is hard to make sexy. Fortunately, there are strategies for turning drab to fab that can both liven up the work environment and prevent theft.


Photo via Flickr user jpmatth

  • Storage lockers are a great first line of defense against theft in the office. If your employees need a place to stash their stuff, but are weary of plain Jane lockers, try buying different colors and sizes, or encourage people to dress theirs up with stickers, pictures and other flair.
  • Lockable drawers are a must have for anyone with a desk job. These will give employees not only a place to put all their assorted trinkets, but also lessen overall office clutter.


How you lay out your office can have a direct effect on employee behavior. By using a wide, open design scheme, you can orient managers around workers and provide a level of surveillance on a daily basis. Even though you can’t always prevent what happens when backs are turned, demonstrating your watchfulness can greatly reduce deviant behavior.

Photo via Flickr user cdw9

Photo via Flickr user cdw9

  • Cubicles may be a mainstay in offices around the world, but it’s time to knock down the walls. This will create a friendlier vibe in the workplace and allow people to see what each other is up to.
  • Always make sure that superiors are seated near lower level employees so that surveillance is possible, but doesn’t make people feel they’re being hovered over.
  • Seat people in a way that propagates friendly conversation but doesn’t distract from the task at hand.


Of the many things you can do to prevent theft at work, establishing trust between your employees is one of the most important. By creating an ambiance around the office that promotes trust and the well being of others, you can build stronger relationships with your coworkers and discourage theft altogether.

Photo via Flickr user sashajassem

Photo via Flickr user sashajassem

  • Lighting can be used to ensure prized possessions are readily in view.
  • Always maintain an open dialogue with those who work with you. If a problem arises do your best to mediate, but most importantly, allow for discussion of any and all topics.

What other measures are you taking to protect employees and workplace morale? For larger items such as extra desks and chairs Extra Space Storage has business solutions to store your items during a move or downsizing to protect your company items.