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Warding Off Shopping At Work

‘Tis the season to be shopping. And as business owners all across Canada are well aware, customers are currently on the hunt for the best deals possible on all of the hottest items that make the best holiday gifts. In our various blogs about holiday shopping, we have never lost focus of the fact that many consumers head to the internet before they head into the mall.

Customers seeking out the best prices will often check out a company’s website to see if they offer the most competitive prices for the items they want. But we’ve all heard the saying that “there’s a time and place for everything” right? Well, while it makes sense to go online in search of the perfect gift, it’s important to keep that phrase in mind.

The wrong time and and the wrong place to do your shopping online is during work, while you are on the job! As if the internet wasn’t a big enough distraction to the average workday, employers are becoming increasingly concerned with workers going on the internet during work hours to shop.

At least, this is the case, according to the QMI Agency, who reported today that “about 40% of chief information officers say they will be blocking access to online shopping sites to prevent excessive time wasting at work.” This finding was discovered through the results of a new survey by Robert Half Technology.

The survey also found that an additional 28% of CIOs say that they will allow online shopping at work but will monitor internet activity to dissuade excessive use. Interestingly, the survey also concluded that employers anticipate that employees will spend upwards of four hours a week searching various websites for bargains.

Just in case you’re reading this blog at work right now, you might want to take a quick look around you to see if you’re being monitored! Said Lara Dodo, the 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.”

The growing concern about internet use at work is a direct result of the obvious growing popularity of the web being used as an information source. Especially since the internet allows quick and easy access to being able to compare prices and even order items to one’s home, employers are forced to be on the lookout for workers taking time away from their jobs to shop.

Writes QMI: “About 70% of Canadians are expected to use blogs, social media forums and online shopping services marking a ‘tipping point’ in the use of new technology, according to a study released earlier this month by Deloitte.” QMI notes that the survey was based on over 120 interviews with Canadian CIOs done over the phone.

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