Nearly one-third of U.S. workers holiday shop online at work: Survey

One-half of employers monitor employees' Internet and email use
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/16/2010

Cyber Monday, a term coined by the National Retail Federation for the first Monday after American Thanksgiving, will likely be a busy day for Internet use at work, according to a survey by CareerBuilder. But employees planning to get their holiday shopping done at work should beware of employers monitoring their online acitivities.

Twenty-nine per cent of 3,125 U.S. workers surveyed say they have holiday shopped online at work, on par with previous years. Of those planning to shop online this year, 27 per cent will spend one hour or more and 13 per cent said they will spend two hours or more.

However, 47 per cent of the 2,457 hiring managers surveyed said their companies monitor employees' Internet and email use.

“Employees need to be aware of how much time they are spending online, regardless of the time of year,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Most employers know that their employees may use some time during the workday for Internet shopping, non-work emails and other personal matters, but employees need to be mindful of whether their employer has specific guidelines in place restricting these behaviors.”

Thirteen per cent of workers said they spend one hour or more using the Internet each day for non-work related activities or research while at work and 59 per cent said they typically send non-work related emails each day.

But employers are cracking down on personal Internet and email use in the office, found the survey.

Results:

• 21 per cent of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for non-work related activities.

• 5 per cent of employers have fired someone for holiday shopping online at work.

• 50 per cent of employers block employees from accessing certain websites while at work.

•27 per cent of employers monitor emails.

•9 per cent of employers have fired someone for non-work related emails.

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