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Susan M. Heathfield

Cyber Monday Employee Snooping Needed?

By December 1, 2013

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Cyber Monday is tomorrow. Your employees are back to work and they are definitely engaged - in shopping. It's time to nail those post-holiday deals that they missed on Black Friday, when many had the day off. Their email boxes are filling up with deals and free shipping - all time sensitive.

And, how can a person take advantage of today's deals, and the deals available throughout the holiday season, if they don't shop online from work?

Good question for employees and a headache for employers. The time spent online on non-work issues by employees is frighteningly expensive for employers. Employees spend between one and three hours a day surfing the web on personal business at work, depending on the study reviewed.

Since most studies depend on employee self-reported data, this productivity loss, combined with the concerns employers have for "where" their employees are surfing the Web at work, causes more employers to monitor employee use of the Internet.

This entire issue accelerates during the holiday season as time-stressed employees use work time to complete their never-ending lists of things to do. According to CareerBuilder's Cyber Monday Internet Usage study, 49% of employees expect to spend time on holiday shopping from the office. More than 25% will shop from work: 12% on Black Friday and 16% on Cyber Monday. The survey covered more than 2,400 employers and more than 3,900 employees.

Shopping at work is most common in the weeks leading up to Christmas. 30% of the surveyed employees say that they're most likely to shop from work after December 7. Interestingly, more women (43%) than men (36%) plan to shop from the office.

Electronic Surveillance by Employers

I don't recommend electronic monitoring of employees although I understand why an increasing number of employers do it. Take a look at some alternatives to electronic surveillance to build an atmosphere of trust.

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More About Employee Surveillance

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