Squeezed by the economic downturn, tight budgets and lean staffs, more companies are cracking down on a common user habit:
Holiday shopping while on the job.
A recent survey by staffing firm Robert Half Technology found that 60% of IT managers are blocking access to online shopping sites this year. That’s up from 48% who shut down use of these sites last year.
Another 23% told the Robert Half folks that they permit access but keep an eye on it to quash excessive use. Last year, 34% followed that practice. This year, about the same number permit unrestricted shopping as did last year: 13-14%.
Those that permit online shopping guess their users will spend about four hours a week cruising these sites for bargains.
This doesn’t mean that stricter rules will ultimately lead to less workplace shopping and higher productivity — in fact, Robert Half predicts many employees will simply use smartphones and other personal devices to do their shopping.
Whatever your company decides to do regarding shopping sites, experts recommend IT keep one thing in mind: It’s usually a good idea only to make rules that you can and will enforce. If not, you may create an environment where users think it’s okay to bend and break all IT policies throughout the year.