Research shows over half of employees have spent work time doing Christmas shopping


Many businesses have found it necessary to monitor, what their employees do online during work time, many ban websites such as social media and news, however it looks like retail sites may also have to be banned. New research from My Voucher Codes shows that 48% of employees in the UK admitted to Christmas shopping on work time, spending on average 72 minutes doing so. For many employees, time is in short supply over the festive season, so sneaking some time to do your Christmas shopping, might not seem that bad!

The voucher code retailer surveyed 2,157 men and women in the UK aged over 18 who  were in full time employment (not self-employed) asking: “Have you ever shopped for Christmas presents whilst at work during work time?” They found that 48% of respondents admitted they had, whilst 2% would prefer not to say and 50% stated they never had.

As mentioned company policies restrict what can and can’t be accessed via work computers, My Voucher Codes investigated further to see what device people were using to shop on in work. They asked those who had answered yes to the first question: “Did you shop via your computer or mobile device?” They discovered 59% of people used mobile devices such as their phone or tablet, whilst 38% used their work computer. Meaning more people were sneaking in time on a mobile device to shop than using work computers.

Obviously with so many employees spending time shopping online for Christmas presents than working, employers are losing valuable working hours. To work out how much time employees spent online shopping for Christmas on work time they asked: “On average per shopping session how long did you spend shopping for Christmas presents?”

The majority of respondents (28%) only spend around 20 minutes Christmas shopping in work time, however 17% admitted to spending nearly 2hrs shopping and 10% admitted to spend over 3hrs shopping for Christmas presents. This meant the average the amount of time workers spent Christmas shopping online during work time was 73 minutes.

Mark Pearson said:

“At Christmas there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything we need, from planning and shopping to visiting friends and family, so it’s no surprise that people try and sneak some time at work to reduce some of the stress of the festive period. Taking into consideration being able to do shopping away from a spouse, you may need to shop for them at work, however as a business owner I would suggest using the lunch break for that!”

He added:

“Obviously for businesses, shopping during work hours can be a concern. Some will have taken matters into their own hands and ban access to many unessential websites including retail, but combatting access on mobile devices is harder. This may lead employers to be even more vigilant, checking that their employees aren’t on their mobiles or tablets, however perhaps it is up to the employee to be better organised and perhaps taking time off work with their holiday allowance to do these tasks.”

If businesses want to be successful, there has to be trust with staff that they won’t waste company time, we all know Christmas can be a busy time for all, some understanding from employers can make it easier on staff, however employees shouldn’t take advantage of generous bosses. There is a time and place for Christmas shopping and really that’s on your break!