Despite Higher Risks, Greater Percentage of Employees Are Holiday Shopping at Work, Finds Annual CareerBuilder Survey
- Half of employees are using time at work to shop online
- 42 percent are holiday shopping on their smartphones or tablets, up from 27 percent last year
- Survey results indicate a four percent increase in employers that have fired an employee for holiday shopping on the Internet while at work this year compared to last year
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Following last year's record low rate in the post-recession era, employees are once again boosting their online shopping game, hunting for deals and checking out their carts from their cubicles, according to CareerBuilder's annual Cyber Monday survey. Half of workers (50 percent) say they'll be spending at least some work time holiday shopping, up 3 percent from last year. Of this group, 42 percent will spend an hour or more doing so.

Employers aren't turning a blind eye to this this holiday season. Twelve percent of employers say they've fired someone for holiday shopping on the Internet while at work (compared to 8 percent last year), and 56 percent say their organization blocks employees from accessing certain websites from work — up 3 percent from last year.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from August 12 to September 2, 2015, and included a representative sample of 3,321 full-time workers and 2,326 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

"In a world where the lines between the professional and personal are becoming more and more blurred every day, it's not surprising that more employees are bringing personal activities to the workplace," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "Employees should follow the rules, but employers should be careful not to micromanage. The issue should be more about performance than about what employees are doing with their time."

Energy Industry Shows Power in Online Shopping
As mobile technology continues to have a growing presence in the workplace, more workers are using their gadgets to shop. Forty-two percent of employees use their personal smart phones or tablets to shop, a strong increase from last year (27 percent).

Whether desktop or mobile, a higher percentage of workers in the sales and financial services industries online shop compared to those in other industries:

  • Sales: 63 percent
  • Financial Services: 62 percent
  • Information Technology: 57 percent
  • Health Care: 52 percent
  • Transportation: 50 percent
  • Manufacturing: 46 percent
  • Leisure & Hospitality: 42 percent
  • Retail: 39 percent

Internet Use in the Workplace
More than one third of employers (35 percent) said that even if performance isn't affected, they care if employees spend time on non-work related emails and websites. With the ever-looming distractions offered by technology, many have taken stronger measures to prevent loss of productivity this year, including:

  • 36 percent of employers say their organization monitors the sites employees visit, a 4 percent increase since last year.
  • 55 percent of employers restrict employees from posting on behalf of the company on social media, and 32 percent have adopted stricter policies in this regard over the past year (compared to 50 and 25 percent last year, respectively).
  • 28 percent say they've fired someone for using the Internet for non-work related activity, and 18 percent have fired an employee for something they posted on social media (compared to 24 and 12 percent last year, respectively).

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,326 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over and 3,321 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between August 12 and September 2, 2015. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions. With pure probability samples of 2,326 and 3,321, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 2.03 and +/- 1.70 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. 

About CareerBuilder®
As the global leader in human capital solutions, CareerBuilder specializes in cutting-edge HR software as a service to help companies with every step of the recruitment process from acquire to hire. CareerBuilder works with top employers across industries, providing job distribution, sourcing, workflow, CRM, data and analytics in one pre-hire platform. It also operates leading job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

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SOURCE CareerBuilder