SURVEY SAYS: Online Holiday Shopping While at Work

Nearly two-thirds of professionals said they plan to shop online from work this holiday season, according to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half Technology.

The survey also revealed technology decision makers’ concerns about employees shopping using a company device.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers about their plans for shopping online while on the clock.

Last Monday, which was Cyber Monday, nearly two-thirds (65.1%) of responding readers said they did not shop online while at work. Fourteen percent admitted they did shop online while at work using a work computer or device, 11.6% shopped online while at work using their own electronic device, and 9.3% did so using both work and personal devices.

The same percentage of respondents who said they did not shop online while at work on Cyber Monday said they do not intend to or plan to continue to shop online while at work this holiday season, while the rest (34.9%) said they do.

Among responding readers who left comments, quite a few expressed that they feel it is wrong to shop online while at work. However, some said they don’t do so because they are too busy or because they don’t want others to see their personal business. Then there were those who said they do shop online while at work because they don’t have time outside of work. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I’ll quit shopping while ‘on the clock’ when I am allowed to quit working while ‘not on the clock.’”

Thanks to all who responded to the survey!


My company pays me to work while I am at work. I would never shop online while working and I would never expose my company to that type of risk. If I had to buy something, I would use my phone and buy it on my lunch, but would probably just wait till I got home. Honestly, what could be that important? I have seen people through the years at different companies shop more than they worked.

I try not to shop at work and tend to do my shopping online after work in the evening. That way I have more time to concentrate on what I’m buying and don’t feel that “big brother” is watching me.

Didn’t shop while at work, but forwarded the Cyber Monday emails to my personal email, but was too tired to shop when I got home! Guess I’ll have to shop at retail stores on my lunch breaks

I do occasionally shop on line while at work, from my work computer, if I’m in a rush to get something ordered. I don’t abuse it, I put in plenty of hours. When online shopping first went mainstream, I only did it at work, since I trusted my company’s security more than my home network. Currently we have an open work environment with unassigned spaces. That is another drawback to shopping at work. Everybody can see what’s on your screen.

I shop online in the evening

Too busy answering surveys…

I am not sure shopping on the clock is appropriate. I am eligible for breaks and lunch. So I never leave my desk, seems like I should be able to use the computer at lunch to browse and shop between lunch and e-mails.

Online shopping detracts from my productivity no more than reading a daily newsletter or submitting surveys.

Most company’s I’ve worked for don’t care if you use their technology while on break or lunch. And that’s what I do

If you have that kind of time in your work day, you are not doing your job.

I don’t shop online while working, but I do have a work laptop that I keep at home and I use that laptop to shop online, albeit after hours.

While I understand why people do it, I prefer to shop on Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee. Much less stressful and far more enjoyable!

Sometimes when work is intense I need a brain break.

I work over 50 hours a week in order to keep up with the work load. I will admit that taking a few minutes to order a toy for one of the kids on the company sponsored Giving Tree didn’t cause me pause.

I don’t generally shop online as I often don’t know what I want to buy someone and like walking through brick and mortar stores for ideas.

I try to limit shopping at work to my lunch hour. Who needs food when you have Amazon?

Our company allows some personal use of their computers during the day, so it’s not a problem here.

Best to use your own equipment.

I try to limit my online shopping to lunch time.

My employer offers a great sense of work-life balance. If I want to shop online at work, I would use my own device and not think anything of it. However, this year, I am trying to focus on gifts of time and experiences instead of “stuff.” So my need to get online has drastically decreased – and it feels great!

When you see the boss do it…a little piece of me justifies it for me as well…

Although it isn’t “right”, as demands for longer hours from employees increase there are less “free” hours in a day to get essentials done much less extras like holiday shopping.

I shop online often, but with my own time and at home.

No time to do it before or after!

I’m not paid to shop, that just feels wrong to me.

Unless I’m waiting for a long-running macro that requires me to not touch my computer, I’m too busy to shop while on the clock.

I’m too busy to shop on line at work or anytime!

I prefer to do my shopping at home without other people watching what I am doing.

I’ll quit shopping while “on the clock” when I am allowed to quit working while “not on the clock.”

Big brother is watching!



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Strategic Insight or its affiliates.