Recently, we came across a forum from about a year ago at Alignable where a question had sparked an online discussion about employees receiving personal packages at work. The debate was fairly tame as these mostly small businesses discussed the positive and negative effects of allowing personal deliveries to be made to the office, which is now a common occurrence as online shopping continues to grow.

However, one person brought up the concept of employees shipping packages from the office.

“As a courtesy to our employees we do allow them to have packages delivered to the business. We will also allow them to put a personal package in our outgoing FedEx or UPS if it is already labeled and prepaid. We will not provide shipping labels, packing materials, or allow them to charge a shipment to our account,” wrote the poster.

This answer was in line with the overall theme of the thread where many of the small business owners were concerned that employees receiving packages would take time away from work, or in this case, sending packages while using company resources. In short, they were worried about misappropriation of time and company resources.

That is something we have been thinking about a lot as well. You see, whether businesses know it or not, many employees are costing you money without actually reaching their hands into the register. We call it “rogue shipping.” It is like a bartender giving away shots for bigger tips. Or a retail clerk letting a friend use his or her employee discount. Or an executive using the company car service account to go to dinner with their spouse. Well, more often than you may know, employees are going rogue and shipping packages on the company dime.

It could take many forms. Employees may be using the company shipping account to label a care package to their daughter at camp or college or to ship grandma’s antique lamp on a C2C eCommerce website.

Or perhaps it’s more innocent. Maybe they have to spend an extra 20 minutes at lunch standing in line at the post office or even have the mailroom handle the extra personal packages instead of company shipping.

Smart companies are starting to offer personal shipping as an employee benefit to alleviate the drain on company resources and reduce employee time away from their desk to take care of shipping personal parcels.

Of course, this has often meant allowing employees to use the company account and then having to recover the costs of shipping either by payroll deduction or other methods. This hassle not only puts a drain on accounting and payroll departments, but also on the bottom line, as not all shipping costs are recovered, especially post shipment fees such as dimensional (DIM) weight fees, address errors, and other assessorial fees that are incurred by unwary shippers.

However, by giving employees an alternative such as Transtream Personal Shipping, they are not only offering a great perk (discounted shipping rates) —which can boost recruitment and retention— but also a way to control costs and reduce rogue shipping, all at no cost and minimal workload on the HR and benefits departments.

By allowing employees to ship from their desks, using their own payment methods to pay for shipping and related fees, it eliminates the need for them to spend time away from the office, while also taking the company out of the payment mix at the same time, whether with the company’s blessing or via rogue shipping.

Learn more about how offering employees Transtream Personal Shipping can help reduce rogue shipping and boost employee recruitment, retention, and engagement here.