Shopping Craze: Your Workplace Pastime Could Cost You Your Job

Don't let holiday Web surfing lead you the unemployment line in the new year

(Image: Thinkstock)

With all the holiday cheer, you may be tempted to take a look at the latest deals on the Web while at work. How else will you be prepared for gift-giving with your busy schedule and personal commitments taking up all your time? But, don’t let holiday bargains cause you to slip on the job. Here are a few tips to help you fight the urge:

Don’t abuse your lunch break: It’s easy for you to want to squeeze in a quick shopping run during your lunch break to catch those holiday deals, but don’t lose track of time. If you have an hour for lunch, don’t spend 45 minutes shopping and forget that you didn’t actually eat lunch yet. Plus, it’s never a good when you’re caught by your boss walking into your office with hands full of shopping bags more than an hour past when you first left for lunch.

Use the Web wisely: Sixty percent of workplaces surveyed last year by Robert Half Technology say they block online shopping sites from their employees. Online shopping can become addictive, especially around the holiday season, and employers know that it serves as a huge distraction from the work day. Don’t spend half your day staring at a computer screen for shopping deals while your boss keeps piling more and more work on your desk. You may think the excessive piles on your desk shows that you’re busy, but to your boss it may just show that you can’t manage your duties well.

Don’t use overtime to catch that extra deal: If employers don’t have shopping sites blocked, then trust they have ways to still closely monitor your Web usage. Don’t spend an extra hour on the clock pretending like you are doing work when in actuality you are browsing the Web for the best bargain on shoes you’ve been eyeing. When your boss catches you red-handed in the act, there’ll be no way for you to deny it or explain why your long work hours don’t match your productivity.

 

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