At Work Shoppers

At Work Shoppers

You peek over your cubicle like a killer whale spy-hops for prey. The boss is nowhere in sight. Perfect, you think. Promptly, you drag your mouse pointer to the minimize sign and click, sinking that important spreadsheet you should be working on to the abyss of “out of sight out of mind”. Then you expand your window and get to shopping…I mean, you GOTTA get those holiday deals, right?

Finally, after much perusing and price comparisons, the purchase is made and you click back to your spreadsheet. The deed is done.

Just another day at the office… For you. And for probably every other office worker out there.

Or to get more specific. More than half (53%) of senior managers—also known as “C-suite executives, directors, managers, supervisors, and vice presidents—admit to shopping online during company time. Only a few percentage points higher than the 46% of professional and entry-level staffers who do the same. We’re not even counting the holidays—this is just throughout the year, really.

More than half (53%) of senior managers—defined as “C-suite executives, vice presidents, directors, managers, and supervisors” —admit they’ll use company time to go cyber-shopping, says CareerBuilder’s 2014 Cyber Monday survey, versus 46% of professional and entry-level staffers who say the same. This isn’t even taking place over the holidays anymore. It’s evolved into an all-year-round trend, apparently.

Nope. I’m not pulling these numbers out of my rear-end. These snazzy statistics come from CareerBuilder’s 2014 Cyber Monday survey.

Online shopping from work is a growing trend, largely attributed to their secretive nature, a lack of time outside of work to shop, and a lightning-fast internet connection at the office. At least… these are the reasons most popularly mentioned by said employees.

Of course, it doesn’t come without risks. If you get caught doing this, you’re in serious danger of getting thoroughly disciplined—or maybe even terminated—by your boss. Just because you’re cool with everyone there doesn’t mean you should push the limits. Most jobs have policies that explicitly state you should not use their internet for personal purposes…and even if they aren’t in place, it’s just poor etiquette that will draw some dangerous discontent from your boss and co-workers.

Granted…there might be exceptions. Some employers are lenient with their underlings shopping around online. As long as it’s not excessive.

“One of the reasons most employers are lenient regarding shopping at work is that senior management is more likely than their rank-and-file employees to do the shopping,” Ryan Hunt, senior career adviser at CareerBuilder in Chicago, said in an email to

IT staffing company Robert Half Technology, asked their people about their online shopping policies.

Their employees said the following:

  • Blocked access: 30% of employers block access to online shopping sites.
  • Limited access: 42% allow some access, but monitor activity for excessive use.
  • Unrestricted shopping access: 27% of employers allow their employees unrestricted online shopping access.

“It is part of a growing trend allowing more flexibility, to increase not only employee satisfaction, but ultimately employee productivity while at work,” Eric Younkin, Cleveland branch manager for Robert Half Technology, told

So just keep in mind to be weary of your company’s respective policies.

And even if they’re pretty flexible…don’t push it too much.

In any case, happy shopping! And happy holidays!

Live it up. And get yourself and other something nice.


Image source: businessnewsdaily