Cyber Monday caution
November 28, 2011
It's a pretty sure bet that productivity at work will plummet today while everyone is doing their holiday shopping online from their office computers. Economists will enjoy the spike in spending, however, surely spinning the numbers out for the rest of the week in predictions about the overall health of the economy.
Deals are everywhere, particularly on electronics: even WalMart is offering a rock-bottom price on iPads. And everyone is doing it, as these statistics from Black Friday show, some might have been lining up at big box retailers for early bird sales, but the number shopping from home is growing faster.
You may want to reduce the risks of online shopping at work by using your phone.
Unless you have tacit approval to surf and shop from your office, it's best to be careful. Your employer might have meant it when you were told to limit personal emails and computer use. According to this article, a high percentage of employers monitor office computer use, and it's not unusual to fire an employee for misuse. How do they do it? There are plenty of devices, from a keystroke monitor to the office firewall filtering illegal sites to installing tracking cookies on your computer.
And more are just blocking online shopping altogether, says the LA Times, because some companies are reporting that employees spend as many as four hours a week shopping online from the office: “A recent survey by Robert Half Technology, a company that helps businesses find IT professionals, found that 60% of more than 1,400 chief information officers interviewed said their companies block access to online shopping sites -- up from 48% last year. And an additional 23% of CIOs said that although their companies do allow access to shopping sites, they monitor employees for excessive use.”
You may try to argue that web surfing improves work productivity, as this article posed, but you might want to be careful, and try using one of these sites that helps to hide your activity. Or, be an early adopter of shopping from your phone.