Robert Half survey shows majority of Australian companies are 'buying it'

15 January 2016

Is online Shopping on the job ok? The explosion of online retailing means the convenience and satisfaction of a new purchase is just a click away. While many Australian office workers are prone to the ritual of online shopping, most may be unaware that their shopping habits may be monitored. 

An independent survey by specialist recruiter Robert Half has revealed that more than half (54%) of Australian CIOs/CTOs interviewed allow access to shopping sites, but monitor activity for excessive use. 

On opposite ends of the spectrum, the survey also showed that 13% of CIOs/CTOs allow unrestricted access while more than a quarter (27%) block access to online shopping sites entirely.

David Jones, Senior Managing Director Robert Half Asia Pacific said: “For most workplaces, it really comes down to trust and a bit of give and take on the part of both the employer and employees. Employers realise that a degree of flexibility is important for staff trying to manage their work life balance.”

“Allowing employees to run the occasional personal errand, or to surf the web for personal reasons, like shopping, can make all the difference to them. It will also help keeping employee motivation levels up."

"At the same time employees should recognise that most companies monitor for excessive online activity, so understand your workplace internet policies. Always follow safe and secure browsing practices and limit online shopping to lunch breaks or time outside normal work hours,” David Jones said. 

What is your company's policy regarding employees shopping online while at work?

 Allow access but monitor for excessive use 54%
 Allow unrestricted access 13%
 Block access to online shopping sites 27%
 Other / don't know  

Source: independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in Australia

Robert Half offers three tips for employees who are considering online holiday shopping at the office:

  1. Learn the rules. Before you shop, make sure you're familiar with your company's web policy. Most employers have rules about sites or hours to avoid. If the policy is unclear, play it safe and ask for clarification or save your shopping for before or after work. 
  2. Limit surfing. Unrestricted access to the internet doesn't mean you should spend all your time searching for deals at your desk. If you plan to do the majority of your holiday shopping online and want to snag deals that day, take a personal day off.  Or conduct your browsing away from the office and limit your shopping activity to quick transactions when at work. 
  3. Log out of accounts. After you've completed your online holiday purchases at work, remember to log out of your merchant accounts on your computer to protect your personal information.

Contact Us


Gabrielle Nagy  
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
Tel: 02 8028 7751
Email: [email protected]

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