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Senior-Level Employees More Likely to Shop Online During Work Hours Than Other Employees, Finds Annual CareerBuilder Survey

* 47 percent of U.S. workers plan to shop online at work this holiday season – down from 54 percent in 2013
* 24 percent of companies have fired someone for non-work related Internet use

Chicago, IL – WEBWIRE

Companies attempting to limit the online-shopping productivity drain this holiday season may need to start in the corner office, according to CareerBuilder’s annual Cyber Monday survey. Senior-level employees* are more likely to use work hours to shop online than entry-level or professional staff members by a 7 percentage point margin – 53 percent to 46 percent respectively. Of this group, 10 percent admit they’ll spend more than 3 hours or more of work shopping.

The nationwide survey was commissioned by CareerBuilder and conducted online by Harris Poll from August 11 to September 5, 2014, and included a representative sample of 2,203 hiring and human resource professionals and 3,103 full-time workers in the private sector, across industries and company sizes.

Fewer Workers Shopping Online This Year

Overall, fewer U.S. workers are planning to shop for the holidays online during work hours this year. In 2013, more than half (54 percent) of workers said they were using at least some work time to knock items off their list, but this year that number dropped to 47 percent – the lowest rate in the post-recession era.

Looking only at workers who plan to shop online at work, most (58 percent) say they plan to spend less than one hour doing so this season; 30 percent, however, will spend between 1 and 3 hours, 6 percent will spend between 3 and 5 hours, and 6 percent will spend five hours or more.

“So long as productivity and customer service meet expectations, many employers are lenient in regards to a small amount of holiday shopping at work,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “It’s still advisable, however, to be mindful of your company’s Web guidelines, as one in four managers tell us they’ve fired employees for non-work related use of the Internet.”

White Collar Industries Lead the Way in Shopping at Work

More than 1 in 4 (27 percent) say they use their personal smart phones or tablets to shop at work. While these devices certainly make it easier for workers in jobs requiring them to be on their feet all day to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals, workers in white collar industries and professions are far more likely to spend work hours shopping online:

  • Information Technology: 71 percent
  • Professional & Business Services: 66 percent
  • Financial Services: 60 percent
  • Sales: 57 percent
  • Health Care: 52 percent
  • Transportation: 41 percent
  • Manufacturing: 40 percent
  • Leisure & Hospitality: 39 percent
  • Retail: 29 percent

Internet Use in the Workplace

Employers are divided when it comes to how they let employees access the Web and communicate about the company on social media:

· 53 percent of employers say their organization blocks employees from accessing certain websites from work, and 32 percent monitor the sites employees visit. These figures are similar to recent years.

· 50 percent of employers restrict employees from posting on behalf of the company on social media, and 25 percent have adopted stricter policies in this regard over the past year.

· One in four employers (24 percent) say they’ve fired someone for using the Internet for a non-work related activity, and 8 percent of all employers pointed directly to online shopping at work. These figures are similar to last year.

*Senior-level employees include senior management (CEO, CFO, Senior VP, etc), vice presidents, directors, managers, supervisors and team leaders).

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals, and 3,103 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between ­­August 11 and September 5, 2014 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,203 and 3,103, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling error of +/- 2.09 and +/-1.76 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company 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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