Survey: Only One in Five Employees Will Shop for Gifts Online at Work

    TORONTO, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - Managers concerned about a lull in productivity
as employees flock to the Internet to buy holiday gifts can find comfort in a
recent Accountemps survey: Nearly four out of five (79 per cent) professionals
polled said they will not shop online while at work during the holiday season.
However, those who will be searching for bargains on company time aren't doing
so half-heartedly; these individuals anticipate spending nearly three hours
each week checking items off their holiday shopping lists while on the clock.
    The survey, developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest
specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping
professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm, is based on
telephone interviews with 539 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in
an office environment.
    Workers were asked, "During the holiday season, will you shop online
while at work?" Their responses:

                                Yes.............. 21%
                                No............... 79%

    Those who answered "yes" also were asked, "On average, how many hours a
week will you shop online at work for gifts during the holiday season?" The
mean response was 2.7 hours.
    "The holidays place demands on people's time, making it tempting to
browse for gifts online while at work," said Max Messmer, chairman of
Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies(R), 2nd edition
(John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "But visiting shopping websites often is against
company policy - employees should familiarize themselves with their firm rules
on acceptable Internet use during business hours and use good judgment in how
they spend their time."
    Accountemps provides the following advice for balancing work and personal
obligations during the holiday season:

    -   Know the rules. Most companies have policies that define appropriate
        employee use of their systems, including Internet, voicemail, e-mail
        and instant messaging. Become familiar with your company's guidelines
        and ask your manager for clarification if you have questions.
    -   Plan ahead. Consider how to effectively balance your time well in
        advance. You may decide, for example, to request a couple of days off
        to take care of errands prior to the holidays.
    -   Don't procrastinate. Make vacation requests as early as possible to
        increase your chances of getting your desired days off.
    -   Give yourself the gift of organization. If work is light around the
        holidays, use the time to organize for the coming year. Time spent
        clearing up clutter and updating contact lists, for example, can
        ensure a smooth return to work in January.

    Accountemps has more than 350 locations throughout North America, Europe
and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at

    EDITOR'S NOTE: To schedule an interview for local commentary in Montreal,
Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver, please contact Jason Chapman at (416)
365-9140, extension 62070.

For further information:

For further information: ACCOUNTEMPS, Contact: Jason Chapman, (416)
365-9140 extension 62070,

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