The Ultimate Holiday Gift? More Firms Allowing Employees To Shop Online While At Work Only One in Three Employers Blocks Access to Online Shopping Sites

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More employees may be bagging holiday bargains on the job this Cyber Monday, a new survey suggests. Sixteen percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed by staffing firm Robert Half Technology said they give their workers unrestricted access to online shopping sites — up from 10 percent last year. More than half (54 percent) said they allow on-the-job online shopping but monitor activity for excessive use. Less than one-third (29 percent) of CIOs said their firms block access to online shopping sites — down slightly from 33 percent a year ago.

The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees. Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

CIOs were asked, "What is your company's policy regarding employees shopping online while at work?" Their responses:                


2012

2013

Block access to online shopping sites 

33%

29%

Allow access but monitor for excessive use 

55%

54%

Allow unrestricted access 

10%

16%

Other/ don't know 

2%

1%

"Employees appreciate being able to attend to occasional personal business, like holiday shopping, while at work," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Workers who are given this type of flexibility may be more focused and productive on the job because they're worrying less about getting through their holiday to-do lists."

Reed advises professionals not to abuse relaxed Internet policies, however.  "It doesn't reflect well on any professional to be flagged as someone who spends a lot of work time on shopping sites," he said.

Robert Half Technology offers three tips for employees who might shop online at the office this holiday season:

  1. Understand the policy. Don't assume your company's web policy is unrestrictive just because you haven't gotten official word. Check the company handbook, and ask around. If the policy is not clear, play it safe and use non-work times like your lunch hour to shop.
  2. Don't get 'lost in cyberspace.' With all the deals on Cyber Monday, you may be tempted to spend hours on end scooping up bargains. If your goal is to shop until you drop, take a vacation day.   
  3. Limit online 'window shopping.' Conduct product research and price comparisons on your own time so you can make online purchases quickly — and get back to work faster.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 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.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology



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