Shop 'Till You Drop ... On Your Own Time

More Companies Restrict Holiday Shopping at Work, According to CIOs Surveyed by Robert Half Technology

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Workers looking for a jump-start on their holiday gift lists will have a harder time browsing for bargains at the office. The majority (57 per cent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed by Robert Half Technology said their companies block access to online shopping sites - up from 40 per cent last year. Another 30 per cent said they allow access but monitor activity for excessive use. The CIOs whose firms allow online shopping said they expect employees to spend two hours per week, on average, surfing for deals this holiday season.

The surveys were developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. They were conducted by an independent research firm and are based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CIOs from companies across Canada with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, "What is your company's policy regarding employees shopping online while at work?" Their responses:

    <<
                                                                2010    2011
                                                                -------------
    Block access to online shopping sites                        40%     57%
    Allow access but monitor for excessive use                   28%     30%
    Allow unrestricted access                                    26%     12%
    Other/don't know                                              7%      1%
                                                                -------------
    Total                                                       101%* 100%

    *Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.
    >>

"While some companies look the other way when employees browse retail sites in moderation, many are restricting this access altogether," said Lara Dodo, a Canadian regional vice-president of Robert Half Technology. "This may prompt some employees to shop on their mobile devices while at the office. Workers should use their sound judgment when spending time on non-related business activities, as excessive use can be seen as a red flag for employers."

Robert Half Technology offers four tips to help professionals avoid getting on their company's "naughty list" this holiday season:

    <<
    1. Play by the rules. If your employer allows online shopping at work,
    know your company's policy, including sites or hours to avoid, before
    searching for deals.

    2. Buy rather than browse. A liberal computer use policy is no excuse to
    spend the day filling your shopping cart. If your company allows
    occasional online buying, limit your activity to quick transactions.

    3. Don't get stuck on your Smartphone. Mobile devices can make it easy to
    get around a strict online shopping policy, but always put work first.

    4. Exercise caution. Any offer that looks too good to be true probably
    is. Avoid links or sites that could infect your company's network with
    phishing attacks or viruses.

    About the Surveys
    -----------------
    >>

The national surveys were developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The surveys are based on more than 270 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees. In order for the surveys to be statistically representative, the samples were stratified by industry and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of the number of employees within each region.

    <<
    About Robert Half Technology
    ----------------------------
    >>

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com. Follow Robert Half Technology on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RobertHalfTech.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: TO SPEAK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT, CONTACT: Robert Half Technology Contact: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, nadia.santoli@rhi.com


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