Cyber Monday is one of the most popular online shopping “holidays” of the year, and right now most of the American workforce is starting their holiday shopping on company time. While this trend is increasing, there are consequences, with 7% of HR managers reporting that they have fired an employee for shopping while working. If you absolutely have to shop online while you are at work, you may want to shop mobile this holiday season.
According to a CareerBuilder.com, 50% of workers will shop online at work this holiday season, a slight dip form 52% in 2010. While fewer employees are planning to shop online this season employees plan to spend an hour (34%) and two or more hours (16%) and even more than five hours online shopping at work(4%). This isn’t just young employees shopping online, those 45 and older are also big holiday shoppers during work hours.
Employers know that employees will use their work computers for some personal tasks, assumedly during breaks or at lunch, but that’s not always the case. Two thirds of employees use the web for at least some non-work related searches every day, and one in five perform more than five non-work related searches on a given day. This can add up, and with advanced monitoring software and stricter policies, could cost you your job. With plenty of jobseekers looking for work, there is no shortage of capable employees to replace those who spend too much time holiday shopping — even on Cyber Monday.
Shop Mobile to Avoid Hassles
If you must shop online at work on Cyber Monday or anytime this holiday season, your best bet is to clear it with you HR manger or boss, to make sure that you can use the company computers to do this on breaks and at lunch. If that fails, your best bet is to go mobile and do some shopping on your smartphone.
With apps like Amazon Mobile for the iPhone and Android, you can do most of your holiday shopping while you sit in the restroom for an extended bought of relief. Just don’t do this too often, or you might start drawing unwanted attention. With the easy to use apps and mobile friendly sites, you can do most of your shopping on your smartphone. I’m not talking apps and mp3s, but real products from gloves and sweaters to iPods and HDTVs. I did half of my holiday shopping in 2010 on my smartphone, and plan to do a good deal of it there this year as well.
If you want to play it safe, you can skip shopping at work altogether and shop on your smartphone in the downtime while you wait in lines or waiting to pick up a family member. Just be sure you look over changing product descriptions if you select a different color or model from a drop down on mobile webpages. Also, be sure to get the official shopping app for your favorite stores. Unofficial apps could take your personal information when you sign in.
Holiday Shopping at Work Infographic
The infographic above shows off a few more interesting stats about online holiday shopping at work.
Do You Shop at Work?
Do you shop for holiday gifts at work? If so, how much time do you spend and are you worried about getting caught?