Black Friday is notably the biggest shopping day of the year, but Cyber Monday sales have been at an all-time high. More consumers are choosing to skip the long lines (and fights) on Black Friday. Instead they are resorting to the comfort of their PCs, phones and tablets. 2013 was a record-breaking year for Cyber Monday sales with a whopping 20.6% increase over the previous year. According to a national survey reported by Careerbuilder last year, 54% of respondents plan to shop Cyber Monday deals during the workday.
The national survey reports that one in five workers will spend between one and three hours browsing Internet deals from the office, 10 percent will spend 3 hours or more and a quarter of the workers will spend an hour or less. Many businesses view Cyber Monday as a threat to workplace productivity.
How can businesses keep employee productivity loss to a minimum?
At first instinct you may be inclined to track employee internet usage or block shopping websites from the network. However, consider the following:
- Review past productivity trends during Cyber Monday. Did management notice a significant drop in employee productivity compared to normal business output? If the trend shows that there isn’t a major issue, don’t spend too much time addressing an issue that doesn’t exist.
- Communicate expectations with employees ahead of time. Communicate company policies on Cyber Monday to employees in advance. The goal is to maintain a professional employer to employee relationship with an atmosphere where mutual trust and respect is given.
- Consider alternatives to blocking internet usage or employee monitoring. Lack of communication and predefined policies in this matter can impact the company negatively in the long run. Employees in fear of being monitored and spied on, can lead to loss of employee satisfaction and productivity down the road. Allowing an open hour on the heaviest online shopping day of the year can be what is needed for the employee to get some of their shopping out of the way and get back to work. For heavy cyber Monday shoppers, it can be encouraged to take a vacation day instead.
A well-communicated message on this matter can remind employees that an online shopping discount isn’t worth losing a job over. Showing some leniency and understanding on the employers’ part will allow employees to tackle their shopping list in the time allotted and not spend the whole day looking over their shoulders, effectively losing productivity for the entire day.
How will you be spending your Cyber Monday? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comment section below.