“Workshoppers” — employees who shop online from the office using corporate devices — are common in the office, new research shows. According to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half Technology, more than two in five professionals in Canada said they plan to shop online from work this holiday season.
But are employers OK with it? Half (50 per cent) of technology decision makers said they prefer employees refrain from shopping online during business hours or using a company device, even though 79 per cent said their company policy allows for it. Security risks (61 per cent) and loss of productivity (36 per cent) are the top concerns among tech leaders of staff using company devices for personal purchases.
“Employees are an organization’s first line of defence in mitigating IT risks, which is why it is so important that technology leaders make an ongoing effort to refresh and reiterate online policies and best practices with teams, especially at this time of year,” said Deborah Bottineau, district director for Robert Half Technology.
“Workshopping” Habits at Work
More than one in five employees (43 per cent) said they plan to make online purchases from the office this season. When asked how often they expect to shop while on the clock, here’s how they responded:
- Only on Cyber Monday: 19 per cent
- Once a week: 48 per cent
- A few times per week: 28 per cent
- Nearly every day until they finish their lists: 5 per cent
Bottineau added, “Some employees will inevitably use work devices for personal needs, but with proper guidance on safe and appropriate browsing practices, companies can help employees better manage seasonal pressures and to-do lists, without hindering productivity.”
The online survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by a leading independent research firm. The report is based on responses from more than 550 workers and more than 270 IT decision makers in Canada. All IT respondents were screened to have hiring authority for the information systems or information technology department of a company.