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Nearly One-Third of Workers Holiday Shop Online at Work, CareerBuilder’s Annual Survey Reveals

Half of Employers Monitor Internet and E-mail Use of Employees

CHICAGO, November 23, 2010 - As Thanksgiving weekend officially kicks off the holiday season, one tradition that is returning this year is online shopping at the office. Cyber Monday, a term coined by the National Retail Federation for the first Monday after Thanksgiving, will likely be a busy day for Internet use at work. Twenty-nine percent of workers say they have holiday shopped online at work, on par with previous years. Of those planning to shop online this year, 27 percent will spend one hour or more. More than one-in-ten (13 percent) said they will spend two hours or more. Workers should be mindful of their companies’ electronic communications policies, though, as nearly half (47 percent) of companies said that they monitor Internet and e-mail use of employees. This year’s survey included more than 2,400 employers and more than 3,100 workers.


"Employees need to be aware of how much time they are spending online, regardless of the time of year," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "Most employers know that their employees may use some time during the workday for Internet shopping, non-work emails and other personal matters, but employees need to be mindful of whether their employer has specific guidelines in place restricting these behaviors."

General Internet Usage

More than one-in-10 workers (13 percent) said they spend one hour or more using the Internet each day for non-work related activities or research while at work. Workers are advised to limit their Internet searches to those related to work or to use their lunch hour or break time for these activities:

  • 21 percent of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for non-work related activities.

  • 5 percent of employers have fired someone for holiday shopping online at work.

  • Half of employers (50 percent) block employees from accessing certain web sites while at work.

Personal Emails
Workers are also cautioned about email content as nearly six-in-10 (59 percent) said they typically send non-work related emails each day. Sixteen percent report they send six or more personal e-mails during a typical workday.

  • 27 percent of employers monitor emails.

  • 9 percent of employers have fired someone for non-work related emails.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,457 hiring managers and 3,125 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government); ages 18 and over between August 17 and September 2, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of U.S employers and/or employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,457 and 3,125 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.98 and 1.75 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164
(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com