Nearly half of employees shop from work: Survey

Cyber Monday can lure workers to surf for deals
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/21/2016
REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The day after American Thanksgiving may be a tough one for North American employers, and not because of potential turkey hangovers.

That’s because 49 per cent of workers admit they will spend some of their office time surfing for online deals on Cyber Monday, Nov. 28.

Sixty-four per cent use their lunch break to surf for deals, while 43 per cent resort to shopping while bored at work, according to a Robert Half Technology survey of 1,400 North American CIOs and 1,400 North American workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.

More than one-third (35 per cent) of workers are lured to shop while searching online for something else, and eight per cent confess to shopping while on conference calls, the survey found.

Bosses may be the last to know about their staff members' browsing habits, as nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of employees admit to minimizing their screens when a manager approaches during an online shopping session.

Nearly one in four (39 per cent) workers surveyed say they use a work-issued computer or device to shop online, while 17 per cent utilize a personal mobile device.

More than one in three (36 per cent) workers will take a day off to do some holiday shopping. And for those who bargain-hunt during business hours, 13 per cent say they have had to work late or from home in the evening to make up for time shopping.

One-third of CIOs say their companies block employee access to online shopping, and 65 per cent either allow unrestricted access or allow access but monitor for excessive use.

However, most employees are unaware of their firm's stance — 55 per cent of workers say they have not been provided with company information or training around IT security or online shopping policies.

"Anticipating an increase in online shopping as the holidays approach, technology leaders must regularly reinforce IT policies to ensure all employees understand and adhere to safe practices," said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of Robert Half Technology.

"While managers should always be aware of highs and lows in productivity levels, a little leeway to get gift purchases out of the way at work may offer some relief from holiday stress, as long as web policies are acknowledged and upheld." 

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