The day after Thanksgiving is not the most productive day of the year for employees: 49% of them take advantage of Cyber Monday to shop online from work.
Robert Half Technology conducted a survey on the practice of shopping at work in connection with Cyber Monday among 1,400 IT managers and 1,400 employees at least 18 years old in North America. It found that close to half of employees admit to using their work time to look for good deals online. More than one third visit sites of this type while looking for something else, 43% go there when they get bored at the office, and 8% admit to shopping during conference calls. Among those who are tempted, 39% use a work computer or mobile device while 17% compare good deals using a personal device. And nearly one quarter of them use whatever they have at hand, personal or work. Others admit to more significant actions: 36% of people interviewed took a day off to do their Christmas shopping and 64% of them who are tempted at work wait for their lunch break.
A wide majority (65%) of persons concerned tend to minimize their screen when a superior comes by when they are in the middle of a shopping session, but bosses are not necessarily fooled – although 55% of employees have no idea of their company’s policy on the topic, one third of IT managers block access to online shopping sites, and 65% allow access, either unlimited or keeping an eye on employees’ use to prevent abuse.
Tolerance… Up to a point
Robert Half Technology advises employers to be aware of these practices as the holidays approach and to reinforce their policy on the subject, without being too severe. Indeed, although productivity levels can vary in this period, letting employees have a little leeway to do their Christmas shopping during work time can help relieve the stress that comes with the year end… On condition that the company’s position and limits set are clearly known and respected by everyone.