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Why Your Boss Should Let You Shop at Work on Cyber Monday

Topics: Career Advice
cyber monday

First things first: it’s still a bad idea to shop while you’re on the clock, on Cyber Monday or any other day of the year.

People can be — and have been — fired for doing their online shopping at work. Plus, now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have started merging together into a multi-week-long extravaganza of discounts, it’s just silly to choose working hours for holiday shopping.

That said, your manager should turn a blind eye — as long as said shopping isn’t truly impacting your performance. Why?

Team Morale

“If you are a boss who monitors how much employees shop on the clock or bans it altogether, you can come off as a BIG morale killer,” wrote Cindy Krischer Goodman at The Miami Herald.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

There’s no better way for a manager to tell her team that she doesn’t trust them than to micromanage their every move. That includes time spent online. There’s a big difference between having and communicating an internet use policy and obsessing over every click.

“It’s best not to force employees to feel like they have to sneak around to accomplish their shopping goals today,” said career adviser Martin Yate, speaking with SHRM. “Embrace the day and use it to boost employee engagement.”

Everyone Is Doing It (and It’s Hard to Stop Them)

Nearly a quarter of employees surveyed planned to shop from online during working hours in 2017, according to Robert Half Technology. That’s a lot of people to police.

Also, Cyber Monday is over a decade old now and has changed from its early days, when sneaky workday shoppers were most likely doing their browsing from an office computer. Mobile is increasingly gobbling up more of the share of online sales. Last year, U.S. shoppers spent $1.59 billion via their phones on Cyber Monday, up 39 percent from the previous year.

If your boss really wanted to stop you and your coworkers from shopping online, he’d have to confiscate your phones as well as monitor your work laptops, tablets, etc. Impractical, to say the least.

Results Matter Most

Smart managers and their employers know that the bottom line matters more than how workers spend every single minute of their day. Plus, how many team members regularly take work home with them? In most cases, your boss would be weighing a few minutes of online shopping against hours of answering emails late at night. If you’re a dedicated employee, you’re most likely giving more time than you’re taking.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your opinion on shopping at work? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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