Employers crack down on Internet shopping at work

Think twice before sneaking time at work to shop online on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or other times during the holiday.

As many as 60 percent of employers say they will be block workers’ access to online shopping sites this season, according to a survey of more than 1,400 companies by Robert Half Technology. That’s up from 48 percent of companies with 100 or more employees that did so last year.

The new survey also found that 23 percent of companies this year “will allow access but monitor for excessive use.” Thirty-four percent monitored shopping last year.

Eeewwww. I think I would rather be denied access to a site than my employer looking over my shoulder at what I’m searching for. (Not that I shop online at work, boss.)

John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, says in a statement that employees might be tempted to use their mobile phones to shop instead. But adds, “Spending excessive time on non-business activities while at work raises a red flag for employers.”

You sort of can’t blame employers, though. Companies expect workers to spend an average of four hours per week looking for online deals this holiday. Unless they are doing so during the lunch hour, that’s a lot of lost work time.



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