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Cyber Monday: More companies give approval for shopping at work

Cyber

 

I woke up early this morning to shop online for an Apple Ipad Mini for my hubby. It took a while to make my purchase because there were no great deals and most stores had no product left. My point is that online shopping often isn't a two minute task and if I waited to do it during my work day, I could easily lose an hour or more of work time.

So, I'm kind of surprised to hear that more companies are OK with their employees participating in Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.

I'm the first to admit that sales are hard to resist. (The Black Friday numbers prove this true!) In prior years, we've seen the numbers to prove that Cyber Monday is a huge draw...people are going to shop from their cubicles today. But the weird thing is that increasingly, businesses are starting to see online shopping as a boon to productivity, rather than a drain and they're becoming more lenient.

Last year, 60 percent of companies blocked employee access to online shopping sites, according to a blind survey of 1,400 chief information officers from a wide range of US firms. This year, only 33 percent of them blocked access.

John Reed, of Robert Half Technology, a technology firm based in Menlo Park, Calif., which conducted the survey says,  "Many businesses acknowledge the need for flexibility during the hectic holiday season and allow some online shopping at work, within reason."

Reed says "Employers are looking at it from a realistic perspective," The reality is that allowing employees to tackle personal to-do lists at work can help maintain productivity because workers are spared the traffic delays and long lines that accompany holiday crowds.

Reed says. "Even if we have a policy saying we don't want you to do this, employees will find a way. Let's at least acknowledge it and put some parameters in place."   

The Christian Science Monitor talked to some bosses who seemed perfectly OK with letting their employees take a 10 minute break to shop online. I not so sure I would be in that category! (I think they may be WAY underestimating how much time they're really spending) But workers don't want to miss out on deals...According to a survey of 600 consumers by online deal website FatWallet, 62 percent of consumers expect to find the best holiday season deals on Cyber Monday.

So readers, what do you think about employee participation in Cyber Monday? If you were the boss, would you allow it? If an employer bans online shopping at work, is that Grinch-like behavior?

 

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