Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho: More Employers Blocking Online Holiday Shopping This Year

It's time to hit the Internet for holiday presents, but don't be surprised if you can't connect to your favorite retail websites at work.

A new Robert Half Technology survey of more than 1,400 U.S. chief information officers reveals these tech-savvy office Grinches plan on stealing your online access this holiday season. A full 60% of CIOs will block retail websites in the coming weeks -- a 12% increase over last year. Nearly one-quarter (23%) will let employees shop online at work but they'll "monitor activity for excessive use." One wonders how "excessive use" is defined, exactly.

The percentage of companies that will give employees unlimited, all-you-can-eat online shopping access this holiday season: 13%. The CIOs who let employees shop online expect it to suck up at least FOUR HOURS of employees' time per week. Um, yeah...I'm finishing up that report and I'll send it to you after I get my shopping cart through Amazon's online check out. What's my password again?

Bottom line: Your employer wants you more focused on taking care of business instead of surfing for (yet another) pair of slippers for Mom. C'est la vie, at least in this recession. You might have to visit some retail sites from home. Well, it still beats this.

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