The study covered 275 organizations in Europe and concluded that 72,789 laptops went missing in action over a 12-month period. However, the actual damage of each lost laptop is not merely the cost of getting a replacement unit. Many laptops contained confidential information, personal data and most of them were lost out of the workplace. The majority were lost in hotels or during travel, 13 percent were lost in the workplace, while another 13 percent of employees simply had no clue where they lost them. Fewer than one in ten laptops were recovered.
This amounts to a lot of lost wages, delays, failed business trips and sleepless nights for the employees, resulting in a cumulative loss of €35,284 per laptop. Clearly, the actual cost of the hardware is negligible in the big scheme of things and the surveyed organizations lost €1.29 to petty thieves and careless employees. A similar survey conducted stateside found that US businesses lost $2.1 billion on lost laptops each year.
However, the EU survey is a tad more interesting, as it serves to prove several long standing stereotypes. The average loss rate per 100 issue laptops was 7.6 percent, but it differs from country to country. The rate in Sweden and Germany is just 6.1 and 6.2 respectively, which proves that Scandinavians and Germans are somewhat more pedantic than other Europeans. Anyone who has ever bought one of their cars knows what we are on about. The highest loss rate was recorded in France and Italy, 9.6 and 9.1 percent respectively. Once again, anyone who has ever bought one of their cars knows what we are talking about.