Is Holiday Shopping Online OK At Work? Survey Shows More Companies Are 'Buying It'

Unrestricted Internet Access to Shopping Sites Climbs 17 Percentage Points Since 2012

Nov 11, 2014
8:10am

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, a new Robert Half Technology survey suggests companies are becoming more lenient when it comes to letting employees shop online during business hours. More than one-quarter (27 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said their companies allow unrestricted access to shopping sites – an increase of 17 percentage points since 2012. Another 42 percent said they allow access but monitor activity for excessive use. Less than one-third (30 percent) of CIOs said their firms block access to online shopping sites.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, a new Robert Half Technology survey suggests companies are becoming more lenient when it comes to letting employees shop online during business hours. More than one-quarter (27 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said their companies allow unrestricted access to shopping sites - an increase of 17 percentage points since 2012. Another 42 percent said they allow access but monitor activity for excessive use. Less than one-third (30 percent) of CIOs said their firms block access to online shopping sites.

The annual survey, developed by Robert Half Technology, is based on more than 2,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees in 24 major metropolitan areas.  Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

The survey asked CIOs, "Which one of the following best describes your company's policy regarding employees shopping online while at work?" Their responses over the past three years:


2012

2013

2014

Allow unrestricted access

10%

16%

27%

Allow access but monitor for excessive use

55%

54%

42%

Block access to online shopping sites

33%

29%

30%

Other/don't know

2%

1%

1%


100%

100%

100%

View an infographic of the research findings.

"Employers recognize that some flexibility is needed to help workers successfully manage their time during the hectic holiday season," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Allowing professionals to attend to the occasional personal errand at work, like holiday shopping, can make all the difference to them during this busy time of year."

However, Reed advised professionals not to abuse work policies that allow online holiday shopping. "Employees should still limit their shopping time on the job," he said. "It doesn't reflect well on any professional to be seen bargain-hunting rather than attending to business at hand."

Robert Half Technology offers these tips for employees who are considering online holiday shopping at the office:

  1. Learn the rules. Before you shop, make sure you're familiar with your company's web policy. Most employers have rules about sites or hours to avoid. If the policy is unclear, play it safe and save your shopping for before or after work.
  2. Limit surfing. Unrestricted access to the Internet doesn't mean you should spend all of Cyber Monday searching for deals at your desk. If you plan to do the majority of your holiday shopping online and want to snag deals that day, take a personal day off.  Or conduct your browsing away from the office and limit your shopping activity to quick transactions when at work.
  3. Log out of accounts. After you've completed your online holiday purchases at work, remember to log out of your merchant accounts on your computer to protect your personal information.

About Robert Half Technology

With more than 120 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at rht.com. Follow Robert Half Technology at twitter.com/RobertHalfTech or visit our technology blog at blog.rht.com.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141111/157785-INFO

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: Julie Sims, (650) 234-6104, julie.sims@roberthalf.com


print Print   email E-mail   rss RSS