Nearly a Third of Workers Admit to Online Holiday Shopping at Work

November 20, 2007 ( - Thirty percent of workers surveyed by admit they shop online for the holidays while at work.

A CareerBuilder news release said the survey found nearly one quarter (24%) of workers who holiday shop online at work expect to spend two or more hours doing so this year. Thirteen percent plan to holiday shop online for three or more hours and 5% anticipate spending five or more hours.

Other Internet usage while at work, the survey found, included:

  • Research: 61% of workers said they use the Internet for non-work related research and activities while they are at work. Among these workers, 20% spend on average more than an hour of their workday on non-work related online activities and 9% spend more than two hours.
  • E-mail: 60% of workers reported they send non-work related e-mails at work, with 20% saying they send six or more per day. Of those who send non-work related e-mails, 22% spend more than 30 minutes during the typical workday doing so.
  • Instant Messaging: One-in-five workers (21%) reported they send instant messages while at work. Of those who IM, 45% said IMing makes them more productive.
  • Networking: Nearly two-in-five workers (37%) have a social networking profile. One-third (33%) of those with a profile admitted they spend time on their social networking page during the workday with 9% spending 30 minutes or more.
  • Blogging: One-in-ten workers (12%) have a personal blog, but only 20% of them update it at work. Of those who do blog at work, only 6% spend a half hour or more blogging. warned employees to do their online shopping during their lunch hour or breaks, as it found 50% of employers monitor employees’ internet usage. However, only 2% of employers said they have fired an employee for holiday shopping online.

Seventy-one percent of hiring managers surveyed said Internet use at work for non-work related activities negatively impacts productivity. Of the 50% of employers who reported monitoring employees’ online activity, 23% said they monitor both time spent online and content, 19% said they monitor content only and 8% just monitor time spent, the release said.

Nearly one-in-five employers (18%) said they have fired an employee for using the Internet for non-work related activities. More than one-third (35%) of employers surveyed said their company monitors employee e-mails and 7% said they have fired employees for sending non-work related e-mails.

The survey included 5,989 workers and 2,929 hiring managers and human resource professionals.