Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Employee Engagement > Retail > Trends

49 Percent Plan to Shop Online While On the Clock this Holiday Season

Cyber Monday holiday shopping at workWe’re in the thick of Cyber Monday, a term coined in 2005 to explain the online version of Black Friday’s shopping craze. The highly anticipated day isn’t just about a handful of online deals, either: This Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row. On top of that, what began as “Cyber Monday” has extended into more of “Cyber Week,” with online promotions and deals becoming a week-long blitz.

It probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise, then, that CareerBuilder’s “Cyber Monday” Internet usage study of more than 2,400 employers and more than 3,900 workers nationwide shows that 16 percent of workers are planning to not only shop from work on Cyber Monday, but also in the days to come. In fact, 30 percent of workers they’re most likely to shop from work after December 7.

According to CareerBuilder’s study, nearly half of workers–49 percent–expect to spend some time in the office this holiday season shopping online, on par with past years. The study also revealed that a higher percentage of women (43 percent) have shopped online while at the office compared to men (36 percent).

As Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, points out, many workplaces have become more flexible when it comes to workers’ personal needs at the office. “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. 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.”

While most companies have an official Internet use policy for their employees, workers often go online for non-work related reasons–and often with unsavory results:

  • 25 percent of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for non-work related activity.
  • 7 percent of hiring managers have fired an employee for holiday shopping at work.
  • 53 percent of employers block employees from accessing certain websites.

Still, the online shopping trend doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon; if anything, it’s becoming an integral part of many workers’ office lifestyle.

Have you noticed workers’ personal Internet use increasing at work? What is your own policy or philosophy when it comes to completing personal tasks at the office?

Amy McDonnell

About Amy McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the creative services manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
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