What CIOs Think About Online Holiday Shopping At Work - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Life
News
11/25/2015
11:05 AM
50%
50%

What CIOs Think About Online Holiday Shopping At Work

In the next few weeks workers will be tempted to peruse the Internet for killer discounts on four of the busiest online single-day shopping events of the holidays. A recent survey reveals the likelihood of whether your boss will be a Grinch or offer good cheer if you're caught.

8 Hot Tech Jobs Getting Big Salary Bumps In 2016
8 Hot Tech Jobs Getting Big Salary Bumps In 2016
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Starting this week, workers will feel the increasing pull to peruse the Internet for killer discounts on holiday gifts. After all, retailers are already touting deals to be found on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday.

But if you're at work when the shopping bug hits, what are the odds your boss will be cool with this extracurricular activity?

Only a quarter of chief information officers said their companies block access to online shopping sites, according to a Robert Half Technology survey of 2,500 CIOs. Does this mean the other 75% of employers think whipping out the credit card and charging ahead to online shopping sites are fine?

Not really.

Only 25% of CIOs surveyed said their companies allow unrestricted access to shopping sites, while nearly half, 48%, said they allow access, but monitor employees for excessive time spent on the sites.

"Many professionals appreciate the ability to get some quick online shopping done at work during the busy holiday season," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. "But employees should recognize that most companies keep tabs on their online activity. Professionals should follow safe and secure browsing practices, and keep distractions at work to a minimum."

(Image: studiocasper/iStockphoto)

(Image: studiocasper/iStockphoto)

According to a Robert Half Technology survey of more than 1,000 US adult office workers, 24% have been caught shopping online by their boss. Of this group, 15% received a reprimand for shopping instead of working, while a far higher number, 31%, had a favorable outcome of "talking shop" with their manager.

The takeaway from these stats? Holiday cheer beats the Grinch.

Ones co-workers, however, get increased scrutiny. The survey found that 28% of employees said they believed their co-workers weren't pulling their weight when they scanned shopping sites on the company dime. Interestingly, though, a similar percentage of co-workers who shop online while at work, 30%, felt guilty about their activities.

The co-workers who feel other employees aren't carrying their weight when shopping online may have a difficult time swallowing the theory, held by 19% of workers surveyed, that their productively actually goes up when they shop online, because they don't have to leave the office.

These employees will be joining a huge pool of online shoppers sitting at their desktop computers and executing orders on the following four single-day events, which last year generated a total of approximately $6.2 billion in sales, according to comScore:

  • Thanksgiving Day: $1.01 billion, up 32% over 2013
  • Black Friday: $1.51 billion, up 26%
  • Cyber Monday: $2.04 billion, up 17%
  • Green Monday: $1.62 billion, up 15%

Although employees and other consumers threw far more money at Cyber Monday sales, its growth rate pales in comparison to Thanksgiving Day and is less impressive than Black Friday.

"Thanksgiving's recent growth is likely occurring because traditionally, it was more of a hassle to go online during the holiday when you're spending time with family," said Adam Lella, senior analyst of comScore's Marketing Insights. "Now, as people are more connected online than ever before due to smartphones and tablets, and as Internet speeds are faster, it's easier to quickly do some online shopping in between or while hanging out with family."

[Read Microsoft Black Friday Deals: Xbox, PC, Surface.]

He added there is no reason to believe that Cyber Monday will lose ground to another single-day sales event in the near future. Since 2009, Cyber Monday has been ranked as the No. 1 online shopping day, having taken the title from the previous top dog Green Monday, according to comScore. Green Monday got its name from being thought of as the best sales day in December. It is typically held on the second Monday of December, which is this year is December 14.

"Cyber Monday built a strong reputation for being one of the heaviest online spending days, which in turn caused retailers to push their biggest promotions on that day, which only then made it the top ranked online spending day," said Lella.

**New deadline of Dec. 18, 2015** Be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Time is running out to submit your company's application by Dec. 18, 2015. Go to our 2016 registration page: InformationWeek's Elite 100 list for 2016.

Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
impactnow
50%
50%
impactnow,
User Rank: Author
11/30/2015 | 8:28:30 PM
Tis the season for employee morale

Unless it is abused I never had an issue with an employee doing some online shopping while at work. There are times when an employee can shop and work such as on a conference call where the shopping saves the employee time and they can still effectively get their job done. During the holidays many employees are stretched and office holiday parties and functions take employees away from their desks regularly, add to this the pressure of the holidays to shop and plan family gatherings and it makes for a stressful season. I would rather have employees shop a little during the holidays than leave work early or take days out of the office to meet their holiday commitments.  I have an HR idea why not introduce a shopping hour for employees during the holiday season.  An easy way to show employee appreciation with little to no cost!

yalanand
50%
50%
yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 11:45:17 AM
Re: Big brother is watching
@Gary_El: I agree with you, it is bad enough that engineers have to oppose the tyrannical schemes of the Managing body (and I'm saying this out on a limb here, almost 80% of all Managements are poor in managing employees) so if the engineers got some flexible boss they would feel more welcome. 
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 8:54:33 AM
Re: Big brother is watching
Agreed, shamika. Balance has to go both ways.

Pedro, that sounds like an extreme example. I'm guessing that individual has other performance issues if he couldn't focus on the task at hand thinking an online deal might expire during a meeting. If you are that worried about it, you probably shouldn't be doing anything remotely personal while at work.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 8:52:05 AM
Re: Big brother is watching
I can understand for an hourly employee. Salaried employees need to be treated differently. There is a natural give and take for a salaried employee where the commitment is to get the job requirements completed, but not necessarily between 8 and 5. If you trust your staff and they aren't letting quality or service sink, I believe it's reasonable to allow some online shopping at work. We strive for balance in our workplace culture, which means some of "home" comes into work sometimes, and some of "work" goes home. All in all, I think "work" is getting the better end of the deal. I'll gladly trade 15-20 minutes of online shopping during the day for 15-20 (and likely a lot more) of evening catch-up time if that is what's required for my teams to meet their commitments and deliverables.
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 8:49:20 PM
Re: Big brother is watching
@sachinee, seems it is a good practice. However do you think it is practical all the time? 
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 8:46:53 PM
Re: Big brother is watching
@Technocrati, true. Social media was restricted in most of the organizations I have worked for. Having access to social media could lead towards data confidentiality breaches.
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 8:39:37 PM
Re: Big brother is watching
@sachinee I agree with you. However I think, spending a couple of minutes to browse through will not make a big harm to the company hours.  Further what if there is no way for them to take a time off due to lack of resources especially during a festival season?
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 12:48:29 PM
Re: Big brother is watching
Well, I've been a home-based freelancer for a long time now, so I don't really know how it goes in a modern work environment. Maybe because today's full-time employee really is a FULL time employee, and (s)he is alway working, some time off has to be allowed so the ordinary tasks of non-work life can be taken care of.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 12:44:51 PM
Re: Big brother is watching
@whoopty: Of course they do. You can't control everything. But it is okay as long as I don't catch you red handed and as long as you do your job.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 12:42:49 PM
Re: Big brother is watching
@SunitaT0: I agree. It hampers their decision making skills because their mind is where the website is giving the hot deal.
<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll