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4 tips to cyberspace shopping on the job – if you dare

By Workplace Staff
| www.cos-mag.com

With the holiday season just around the corner, workers who plan to bargain hunt while on the clock should do so with caution. Four in ten (40 per cent) chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed by Robert Half Technology said they block access to online shopping sites; another 28 per cent said they allow access but monitor activity for excessive use. The CIOs whose companies allow shopping said they expect employees to spend four hours per week, on average, bagging online deals while at work this holiday season.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 120 CIOs from Canadian companies with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, "What is your company's policy regarding employees shopping online while at work?" Their responses:

  • 40 per cent would block access to online shopping sites  
  • 28 per cent would allow access but monitor for excessive use
  • 26 per cent would allow unrestricted access  

CIOs whose companies allow access to online shopping sites also asked, "How many hours per week do you think the average employees in your organization spends shopping online during the holiday season?" The mean response was four hours.

"Although some companies allow online shopping, they may be monitoring their employees' use of time on retail sites – and excessive use may be seen as a red flag," says Lara Dodo, Canadian regional vice president of Robert Half Technology. "Employees should exercise sound judgment while shopping on the job, especially if it hinders productivity or causes deadlines to slip."


4 tips to cyberspace shopping on the job

Robert Half Technology offers four tips to shop wisely in cyberspace this holiday season:

1.  Know your limits. Some employers permit online shopping, within reason. Know your company's policy, including sites or hours to avoid, before bargain-hunting on the Web.

    

2.  Prevent personal information from being 'shoplifted.' If a holiday offer looks too good to be true, it likely is. Avoid clicking on links or sites that could infect your company's network with phishing attacks or viruses.

   

3.  Buy rather than browse. Your employer may allow online shopping, but not at the expense of your job duties. A liberal computer use policy is not a license to spend all day filling your shopping cart.

   

4.  Score some deals after work. If you have projects that require immediate attention, save your holiday shopping for the evening or weekend. No online promotion is worth putting your career at risk.


   

The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 120 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees. In order for the survey to be statistically representative, the sample was stratified by geographic region, industry and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of the number of employees within each region.

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com. Follow Robert Half Technology on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RobertHalfTech.

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