Nearly One-third of Workers Do Holiday Shopping at Work

November 26, 2008 ( - Nearly one-third (29%) of workers surveyed by say they plan to holiday shop online while at work this year.

Workplace productivity could definitely be impacted as, among those who plan to holiday shop online while at work, 43% indicate they will spend more than one hour, 23% say they will spend two hours or more, and 13% report they will spend three hours or more. CareerBuilder pointed out in a press release that seasonal online shopping will ramp up on Cyber Monday, a term coined by the National Retail Federation for the first Monday following Thanksgiving.

However, workplace shoppers should beware, half of employers report they monitor the Internet use of employees. More than a quarter of employers surveyed monitor workers’ time spent online and sites visited, according to the press release.

“While employers are unlikely to terminate workers for online holiday shopping during the workday, employees should proactively police their personal Internet usage,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for, in the announcement. “In addition, employees need to be aware of company Internet policies…”

Not only did the survey find that workers shop online during work hours, but workers report using the Internet for a variety of personal reasons while on the clock.

Sixty-one percent of workers use the Internet while at work for non-work related research and activities, according to the CareerBuilder press release. Among these workers, 37% said they spend an average of more than 30 minutes of their workday on non-work related online activities, and 18% said they spend an average of an hour or more.

Personal emailing (20%) of workers say they send six or more non-work related e-mails per day) and personal blogging (23%) are among the activities workers do while on the clock. Among those who send personal emails, 22% indicate they spend more than 30 minutes during the typical workday doing so. Only 9% of those who blog while at work report spending 15 minutes or more a day doing so.

Forty-one percent of workers surveyed have a MySpace, Facebook or other social networking page, and 35% of them report they spend time on their social networking page during the workday, with 8% spending 30 minutes or more.

Twenty percent of workers use instant messenger at least once a week.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive among 3,061 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non government); and 6,194 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) ages 18 and over, between August 21 and September 9, 2008.