1 in 3 Americans Are Shopping Online at Work

Photo (cc) by irrezolut

Americans love to shop online, and many are doing it on company time.

According to a recent survey by legal information website FindLaw.com, 35 percent of Americans admit to shopping online from their workplace.

Keeping purchases secret, not having time outside of work to shop and a faster Internet connection are Americans’ top reasons for online shopping from the office.

But Stephanie Rahlfs of FindLaw said in a statement that online shopping at work comes with its own set of risks.

Shopping online while at work could give employers grounds for disciplining or even terminating employees. Most workplaces have policies restricting employees’ use of the company Internet for personal uses. In addition, even if such policies are not explicitly stated, it’s a safe bet that most employers would frown on employees cybershopping on company time.

Online shopping at work isn’t just a holiday thing. “The vast majority of people who let their fingers do the shopping while on company time say they do it year-round,” FindLaw said.

Just how much time is online shopping sucking out of the work day? According to Ebates, 16 percent of Americans said they spend an hour or two each week shopping online at work, while 14 percent spend three to four hours a week, and 4 percent said they spend a decent chunk of their work time, five to seven hours per week, online shopping from their office.

According to Cleveland.com, some employers are lenient when it comes to their employees’ online shopping, as long as they’re not spending an exorbitant amount of time scrolling through retailer sites.

“One of the reasons most employers are lenient regarding shopping at work is that senior management is more likely than their rank-and-file employees to do the shopping,” Ryan Hunt, senior career adviser at CareerBuilder in Chicago, said in an email to Cleveland.com.

Robert Half Technology, an international information technology staffing company, recently asked employers about their company policy regarding online shopping. Here’s what they said:

  • Unrestricted shopping access. Twenty-seven percent of employers are allowing their employees unrestricted online shopping access.
  • Limited access. Forty-two percent allow some access, but monitor the online shopping for excessive use.
  • Blocked access. About 30 percent of employers block access to online shopping sites.

“It is part of a growing trend allowing more flexibility, to increase not only employee satisfaction, but ultimately employee productivity while at work,” Eric Younkin, Cleveland branch manager for Robert Half Technology, told Cleveland.com.

Online shopping on company time is so popular that Mashable had a recent post titled “How to Shop Discreetly at Work.”

Are you surprised to see how many people online shop from work? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
3 Good Things About Recessions
3 Good Things About Recessions

We don’t wish difficulty on anyone, but there can be an upside to a down cycle.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More
10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More

Think you’re a savvy shopper? Find out how retailers persuade you to dig more deeply into your wallet.

5 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security ASAP
5 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security ASAP

Experts often recommend postponing claiming your Social Security retirement benefits. But there are situations in which you should start taking the money sooner.

25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead
25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead

If you really want to save money, become a more intentional shopper.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.