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Companies Plan to Restrict Employee Online Shopping

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Shoppers looking to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals while on the clock next week might be in for a rude awakening, new research shows.

A study by Robert Half Technology found that employers are looking to crack down on their staffs' online shopping at work by restricting access to various online retailers.

Specifically, 60 percent of the Chief Information Officers surveyed said they are blocking all access to online shopping sites this year, up from 48 percent last year. Additionally, more than 20 percent said they will allow access to online retailers but monitor activity for excessive use.

Companies that don't restrict employees from shopping online said they expect their workers to spend four hours per week, on average, surfing for deals this holiday season.

Research conducted last year by Purdue University retail expert Richard Feinberg found that businesses could see a combined $1 billion in lost productivity on Cyber Monday.

A simple solution may be for employees to use their own smartphones to shop while at work, however John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, cautions against that.

"Spending excessive time on non-business activities while at work raises a red flag for employers," Reed said.

The research was based on surveys of more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with at least 100 employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.