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"Great Business Ideas of Our Time"

Published in EN Magazine

Ever walked into the office on a Monday morning to find the fax machine has disappeared? Does the company go through more postage stamps in a month than a small African country? If so, the chances are that the staff are on the fiddle.

So how do you catch the little blighters without instigating strip-searches every night? And even if you did, would there still be problems with long-distance phone calls to Australia or hundreds of man-hours being spent on "specialist" internet sites?

For troubled employers, help is now at hand from surveillance firm Spyco.co.uk, which will covertly snoop on staff or even fellow directors suspected of being a little overkeen in their re-allocation of company resources.

Its founder Andrew Perry says theft is commonly taken to mean items of office equipment going missing, but just as much money is lost through petty pilfering such as e-mail abuse, personal phone calls and using work stamps for paying bills.

The stark facts are that employees can eat, drink and smoke their way through an eight-hour shift with relative ease," he says. "If each employee takes one small item such as a chocolate bar, it equates to losses of 200 per employee. Ignoring these losses over a period of time can eventually destroy what was once a relatively healthy business." Perry's firm specialises in covert video surveillace, but will also snoop on telephone calls and e-mails if required.

Moreover, he reckons that modern micro-cameras can be fitted into almost any object, allowing all parts of a plant or office to be filmed.

Stay away from the ladies' toilets, though, or else it won't be the staff that the local constabulary will want to interview.



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