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53% of staff use work time for online holiday shopping

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With Christmas round the corner, if your staff aren’t skipping work to take advantage of the Black Friday sales for Christmas shopping, they might just be doing their shopping online while at work on Cyber Monday.

According to CareerBuilder’s annual Cyber Monday survey, 53% admitted to spending at least some work time holiday shopping on the internet, up 3% from last year. Of this group, more spent an hour or more doing so (43%), compared to 42% last year.

Conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, the survey included a representative sample of 3,133 full-time workers and 2,379 hiring managers and HR professionals across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

It found that as mobile technology continues to have a growing presence in the workplace, 49% of staff use their personal smart phones or tablets to shop, up from 42% in 2015 and 27% two years ago.

In line with that, the industry that spends the most time online shopping – the information technology sector (68%).

This was closely followed by the financial services sector (65%), the sales sector (63%), the leisure and hospitality sector (54%), and the healthcare sector (53%).

On the other hand, the sectors which spend the least time shopping online were the manufacturing (40%), retail (42%) and the transportation sector (42%).

ALSO READ: What to do when you catch staff shopping online at work

The survey also pointed out that employers aren’t completely unaware of their staff’s internet activity.

A third of employers (33%) said that even if performance isn’t affected, they care if employees spend time on non-work related emails and websites. At the same time, while less than last year (36%), 35% of employers revealed that their organisation monitors the sites employees visit.

It also found that a majority of organisations (54%) blocks employees from accessing certain websites from work — down 2% from last year. Further revealing that 11% have fired someone for holiday shopping on the internet while at work (compared to 12% last year).

“Employers realise that you are going to be tempted by the flurry of notifications regarding discounts throughout the day on Cyber Monday,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder.

“But it’s up to you to self-police yourself and schedule your time to make sure you’re getting your job done and productivity isn’t hurt while you save money shopping online.”

READ MORE: The holiday season is the most popular time for taking MC

It added that the restricting of employee’s internet activity isn’t just limited to online shopping. Slightly more than half (52%) of employers reported restricting employees from posting on behalf of the company on social media, and 29% have adopted stricter policies in this regard over the past year (compared to 55% and 32% last year, respectively).

It further noted that 24% have fired someone for using the internet for non-work related activity, and 17% have fired an employee for something they posted on social media (compared to 28% and 18% last year, respectively).

Photo / 123RF

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