Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Survey Results

Fired for Holiday Shopping at Work? It’s Just Another Cyber Monday

In a scandal of Bristol-Palin-on-‘Dancing-with-the-Stars’ proportion, CareerBuilder’s most recent survey reveals that 27 percent of workers plan to spend at least one hour shopping online for holiday gifts during office time on Cyber Monday. More than one in 10 will spend at least two hours.

The survey of more than 2,400 employers and more than 3,100 workers also revealed that nearly half (47 percent) of companies act like total Scrooges monitor employees’ Internet and e-mail use, and 5 percent have even fired someone for holiday shopping online at work.

While you might anticipate that some of your employees will try to sneak in a little bit of time during the workday on Amazon, you’re also probably hoping they’ll practice discipline and only do so during their downtime. Short of playing Internet traffic police (which, btw, is like the least fun game ever), you may not be able to stop your employees from doing their holiday shopping at work, but you can try to meet them halfway: Be candid and tell them of your expectations to limit their non-work related activities to downtime, and be sure to remind them of your company’s Internet use policy.

General Internet Usage
In addition to holiday shopping habits, the survey brings to light some interesting findings about employee Internet use in general – and how employers feel about it. Among the major findings:

  • In news that should shock no one these days, 13 percent of workers said they spend one hour or more using the Internet each day for non-work related activities or research while at work.
  • On a related note, 59 percent of workers said they typically send non-work related emails each day, with 16 percent reporting they send six or more personal e-mails during a typical workday.
  • 21 percent of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for non-work related activities, and 9 percent have fired someone for non-related emails.
  • Half of employers (50 percent) block employees from accessing certain web sites while at work.

What the survey doesn’t reveal, however (and the question I know we’re all dying to get the answer to), is: Exactly how much online shopping does a person have to do to get fired anyway? (Or maybe a better question is: On which sites were they doing their shopping?)

Care to venture a guess – or share a similar story of your own? Comment below!

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


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