Half of American workers to shop online at work for holidays: Survey

But companies tightening policies around non-work-related Internet use
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/28/2011

Cyber Monday” broke online sales records last year and the trend may be poised to continue in the United States, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Fifty per cent of American workers plan to spend time holiday shopping online at work this season — on par with 52 per cent last year.

Of these workers, 34 per cent will spend one hour or more shopping (up from 27 per cent in 2010) and 16 per cent will spend two or more hours (up from 13 per cent in 2010).

However, there is also a tightening of policies around non-work-related Internet activity, found the survey of 4,384 workers and 2,696 employers. One-half of U.S. companies monitor Internet and email use of employees, up from 47 per cent last year.

“Most companies assume their employees use some of their break time on the Internet for shopping, checking social networks and other general browsing but, when it starts adding up, workers need to be aware of company policies and any potential consequences,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “With more companies limiting or restricting online activity, eshopping season is as good a time as any to be mindful of our Internet usage at work.”

General Internet usage
Two-thirds (65 per cent) of workers spend at least some time conducting non-work-related web searches in a typical workday, and 22 per cent do so at least five times a day.

But 22 per cent of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for non-work-related activity — on par with 2010, found the survey. And seven per cent of human resource managers have fired an employee for holiday shopping.

More than one-half (54 per cent) of employers block employees from accessing certain websites — up from 50 per cent in 2010.

Fifty-six per cent of workers on social networks check their profiles during their typical work-days — up from 49 per cent in 2010. Of this group, 15 per cent spend at least one hour per day browsing.

However, one-third (32 per cent) of employers prohibit employees from communicating about the company on social media. And 25 per cent of employers have adopted stricter policies during the last year in regard to employees communicating about company on social media.

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