Thirty Percent of Workers Holiday Shop Online at Work, Survey Shows
-- Half of Employers Monitor Workers' Online Activities

'Tis the season for grab bags and gift exchanges. If you are among the 30 percent of workers who have or plan to holiday shop online while at work this year, career advisors recommend making purchases during your lunch hour or break time. A new survey from finds that half (50 percent) of all employers report they monitor employees' Internet usage. The survey included 5,989 workers and 2,929 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

As online shopping kicks into high gear on Cyber Monday (a term coined by the National Retail Federation for the first Monday after Thanksgiving), productivity in the workplace may be impacted.'s survey found that nearly a quarter (24 percent) of workers who holiday shop online expect to spend two or more hours doing so this year. Thirteen percent plan to holiday shop online for three or more hours while 5 percent anticipate spending five or more hours.

"Employers tend to be more lenient around the holidays -- in fact only two percent say they have fired an employee for holiday shopping online," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at "However, workers need to be mindful of company policies on Internet usage and should designate their lunch hour or break times for shopping excursions or other non-work related activities."

  Internet Usage at the Office
  --  Research: 61 percent of workers use the Internet for non-work related
      research and activities while they are at work.  Among these workers,
      20 percent spend on average more than an hour of their workday on
      non-work related online activities and nine percent spend more than
      two hours.
  --  Email: When it comes to keeping in touch, 60 percent of workers say
      they send non-work related emails at work, with 20 percent saying they
      send six or more per day.  Of those who send non-work related emails,
      22 percent spend more than 30 minutes during the typical workday doing
  --  Instant Messaging: One-in-five workers (21 percent) report they send
      instant messages while at work.  Of those who IM, 45 percent say IMing
      makes them more productive.
  --  Networking: Nearly two-in-five workers (37 percent) have a social
      networking profile.  One-third (33 percent) of those with a profile
      spend time on their social networking page during the workday with 9
      percent spending 30 minutes or more.
  --  Blogging: One-in-ten workers (12 percent) have a personal blog, but
      only 20 percent update it at work.  Of those who do blog at work, only
      six percent spend a half hour or more blogging.

When it comes to getting things done, 71 percent of hiring managers say Internet use at work for non-work related activities negatively impacts productivity. Half of employers surveyed said they monitor employees' online activity - 23 percent monitor both time spent online and content, 19 percent just monitor content and eight percent just monitor time spent. Nearly one-in-five employers (18 percent) said they have fired an employee for using the Internet for non-work related activities. More than one-third (35 percent) of organizations monitor employee emails and 7 percent said they have fired employees for sending non-work related email.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 2,929 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions); and 5,989 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed), ages 18 and over within U.S. between August 10 and September 4, 2007. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. The data has been weighted to reflect the composition of U.S. employers and employees respectively, and propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

With a pure probability sample of 2,929 and 5,989, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2% and +/- 1.3% percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A full methodology is available upon request.

About is the nation's largest online job site with more than 22 million unique visitors and over 1.5 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. , Tribune Company , The McClatchy Company and Microsoft Corp. , the company offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. powers the career centers for more than 1,100 partners, including 150 newspapers and leading portals such as America Online and MSN. More than 300,000 employers take advantage of's easy job postings, 23 million-plus resumes, Diversity Channel and more. and its subsidiaries operate in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

   Media Contact:
   Tanya Flynn

First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:


CONTACT: Tanya Flynn of, +1-773-527-5393,