One-quarter of firms allow workers unrestricted access to shopping sites

One-half monitor activity: Survey
||Last Updated: 11/18/2015

Nearly one-quarter (22 per cent) of Canadian chief information officers (CIOs) said their firms allow employees unrestricted access to shopping sites. Another 54 per cent said their companies allow access but monitor activity for excessive use.

One-quarter (24 per cent) of CIOs said their firms block access to online shopping sites, found the Robert Half Technology survey of 270 CIOs and 450 workers.

But not all employees go about it with a clear conscience: 19 per cent feel guilty about bargain hunting during work hours, and 27 per cent believe their coworkers are not pulling their weight when they shop on company time.

Managers may be slightly more lenient in their views. Among 12 per cent of workers who admitted to being caught by the boss while shopping online, only six per cent were reprimanded for their deal-seeking ways.

That compares to 27 per cent who ended up "talking shop" with their managers in a positive interaction.

Only 15 per cent of workers said they feel less productive because they tend to get distracted shopping online.

"Allowing employees access to online shopping is an easy way to gain their appreciation (especially during the holiday season), while demonstrating trust in their time-management abilities," said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of Robert Half Technology. "That said, professionals should be careful to not abuse these digital freedoms by being wary of site security while browsing, and acting responsibly to minimize distractions during work hours."

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