Bah Humbug! Fewer Canadian Firms Allow Employees to Shop Online While at Work

More Than Half of Employers Block Access to Online Shopping Sites

TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Online holiday shopping may be gaining more traction every year, but Canadian employers are not buying it. Over half (56 per cent) of CIOs surveyed said they are blocking access to online shopping while at work, up from 32 per cent last season. Only 16 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed by staffing firm Robert Half Technology said they give their workers unrestricted access to online shopping sites. Twenty-five per cent said they allow on-the-job online shopping, but monitor activity for excessive use.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is 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:

    2012    2013
Block access to online shopping sites      32%   56%
Allow access but monitor for excessive use      54%   25%
Allow unrestricted access          12%   16%
Other/don't know           3%   2%
Total                        100%   100%

"It's important to know your company's policy regarding online shopping during work hours, especially during the holiday season," said Megan Slabinski, Canadian president of Robert Half Technology. "Being flagged as someone who spends a lot of work time on shopping sites is not in anyone's best interest."

Robert Half Technology offers three tips for employees who might shop online from the office this holiday season:

  1. Understand the policy. Don't assume your company's web policy is unrestrictive just because you haven't gotten official word. Check the company handbook and ask around. If the policy is not clear, play it safe and use times like your lunch hour to shop.

  2. Don't get 'lost in cyberspace.' With all the deals around the holiday season, you may be tempted to spend hours on end scooping up bargains. If your goal is to shop until you drop, take a vacation day.

  3. Limit online 'window shopping.' Shopping online at work is a convenience, not a job description. Conduct product research and price comparisons on your own time. This will allow you to make online purchases quickly - and get back to work faster.

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 Follow Robert Half Technology at


SOURCE: Robert Half Technology

For further information:

Contact: Jamie Carpen
(630) 836-7144


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