Waking up in the middle of the night. Waiting for hours in the cold. Fighting off other determined shoppers. Why brave the Black Friday crowds when you can get your holiday shopping done on Cyber Monday?
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, many workers are choosing to skip the jam-packed stores and do their shopping in the comfort of their office or cubicle instead. Forty-nine percent of workers expect to spend some time in the office this holiday season shopping online, on par with past years. The study, which surveyed more than 2,400 employers and more than 3,900 workers nationwide, found that more than a quarter of workers plan to shop from the office either on Black Friday (12 percent) or Cyber Monday (16 percent).
Checking “buying gifts” off your work to-do list
While it’s not uncommon for workers to do some online shopping on the job throughout the year, many make Internet purchases at work in the weeks leading up to December 25. Thirty percent of workers say they’re most likely to shop from work after December 7. A higher percentage of women (43 percent) have shopped online while at the office compared to men (36 percent).
Consider your employer’s Internet usage policy
You may think taking a five-minute break from a project to purchase that video game for your nephew is no big deal, but your employer may think differently. In fact, 25 percent of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for nonwork-related activity. What’s more, 7 percent of hiring managers have fired an employee for holiday shopping at work, and 53 percent of employers go so far as to block employees from accessing certain websites.
“Employers tend to be more lenient when it comes to workers using breaks or down time to get online and — in some cases — take care of some online shopping,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “However, it is the employee’s responsibility to know and adhere to their company’s policy regarding Internet usage. Be aware of how you spend time on the Web, and don’t let your holiday shopping get in the way of your productivity.”
Use caution when going online any time of the year
According to the study, 45 percent of workers are connected with colleagues on social media. Haefner reminds those employees using work computers for social media and personal email to practice responsible workplace Internet usage.
If you shop, play games or chat on your work computer during the holidays or any other time of the year, consider these statistics:
- 11 percent of hiring managers have fired an employee for something they posted on social media.
- 30 percent of employers monitor their employees’ email use.
- 11 percent of hiring managers have fired someone for sending nonwork-related emails.