Cyber Monday means lots of good deals online for holiday shoppers, but what if you’re back at work today? Turns out a growing number of companies don’t mind if employees try to bag some bargains from behind their desks.
The retail holiday got its name in 2005 from Shop.org (the online arm of the National Retail Federation) when retailers noticed a bump in online sales the Monday after Thanksgiving. At first a lot of companies blocked employees’ access to shopping sites that day. Now, 54 percent of firms allow workers to shop on the clock with IT teams watching for excessive use. That’s up 20 percent from three years ago according to an annual survey.
"Companies have really smartly said it’s okay to get a little personal business done as long as you are still productive on the job," says Kathy Northamer with Robert Half Technology, the IT staffing company that does the survey. "Companies have realized it’s helped them let their workers be more productive because they’re not taking off a whole day to cybershop."
At the Maryland web-consulting firm HindSite Interactive, company president Payman Taei doesn’t mind if staffers shop on Cyber Monday. "It’s one day a year, and you know this is not something that goes on on a daily basis, so why not take advantage of it and let everybody be happy," Taei says. He even tells his staff to tip him off to good deals. Last year he shopped for the company and saved 25 percent on an external hard drive.