Friday Funny: ‘Tis The Season To Be Shopping

Despite their bosses' concerns over productivity and security, 64% of employees plan to shop online at work this holiday season. Which cities are most guilty of "workshopping?"

holiday shopping
(Credit: Comstock)

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, the holiday season has officially arrived, and that means get togethers with family and friends, great food, and shopping. Online shopping is a convenient way to find those holiday gifts, and if you’re working at a computer all day it can be very tempting to search for and purchase those gifts while at the office.

“Workshoppers” — employees who shop online from the office using corporate devices — are rampant in the office, according to a new survey by Robert Half Technology. In fact, nearly two-thirds of professionals said they plan to shop online from work this holiday season.

Are employers OK with it? Over half (53 percent) of technology decision makers said they prefer employees refrain from shopping online during business hours or using a company device, even though 76 percent said their company policy allows for it. Security risks (59 percent) and loss of productivity (35 percent) are the top concerns among tech leaders of staff using company devices for personal shopping

“Technology leaders are constantly assessing risks, and now is a great time to reaffirm company policies and best practices with teams,” said Ryan Sutton, a district president for Robert Half Technology.

Online Shopping Habits At Work

Nearly two-thirds of employees (64 percent) said they plan to make online purchases from the office this season. See the infographic at right to find out how often they expect to shop while on the clock.

As with most things, location matters. Workers in some cities are much more likely to get some holiday shopping done while at work. Here are the top 10 cities with the most “workshoppers” planning to snag online deals a few times a week during the holidays:

  1. Los Angeles (56 percent)
  2. Nashville (47 percent)
  3. Pittsburgh (47 percent)
  4. Salt Lake City (47 percent)
  5. St. Louis (45 percent)
  6. Denver (44 percent)
  7. Minneapolis (44 percent)
  8. Boston (39 percent)
  9. Detroit (39 percent)
  10. Des Moines (39 percent)

Sutton added, “It’s inevitable that some employees will use work devices for personal reasons, but with proper guidance on safe browsing practices and implementation of strong security systems, risks can be mitigated.”

The report is based on online survey responses from more than 2,800 workers and more than 2,500 IT decision makers in 28 major U.S. markets.