Majority of us say we do our holiday shopping online at work

Of the 2,500 information technology decision makers surveyed, over half said they would prefer employees keep online shopping to personal devices.

Right now, between browser tabs open for our jobs, most of us likely have a tab open for the holiday shopping we have yet to do, a new survey from staffing agency Robert Half suggests. Sixty-four percent of employees in a survey of 2,800 workers said they do holiday shopping online at work to their employers’ dismay.

The perils of online shopping at work

Modern workplaces are known for their perks. With happy hours, rec rooms and nap pods, these perks are inviting employees to bring their personal experiences into the workplace. The downside of encouraging employees to bring their whole self to work is that they may also bring their personal obligations to shop to the office too.

For many participants, online shopping while on the clock was a regular habit. More than one in three respondents said they plan to do their holiday shopping at work for a few times per week, while 8% of respondents said they expected to do it nearly every day until they finished their list.

This shopping habit does not please employers. Of the 2,500 information technology decision makers surveyed, over half said they would prefer that employees keep their online shopping to their personal devices, citing security risks (59%) and loss of productivity (35%). Although three in four IT leaders said their company policy permitted shopping at work, buyers beware. Your online purchases could get you fired. Twenty-eight percent of the 2,326 managers CareerBuilder surveyed in 2015 said they had fired someone for doing “non-work-related activity” on the internet at work.

And if your shopping habit does not get you fired, there is still the risk of getting hacked. You do not want your credit card information shared for all of your colleagues to see. Morey Haber, vice president of technology for Beyond Trust, said employees who shop at work should use unique passwords, avoid clicking on deals that sound “too good to be true,” and avoid storing credit card information on websites.

Before you buy your holiday presents on your lunch break, you want to make sure that your information and job are safe.

Monica Torres|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.