Most people find the holiday season to be stressful in some ways, not the least of which involves actually shopping for gifts for friends and family. Many working individuals take advantage of their lunch breaks to cross items off their shopping list, although a new report suggests employees may be taking more liberties with their work time than expected.
The Massachusetts-based IT company Ipswitch reported that, among the businesses that tracked their employee's productivity, 42 percent found that employees were taking time away from important work tasks to finish their holiday shopping. While most companies did not appear to mind how employees used their lunch break, problems do arise when workers are cutting into their productivity by searching the Web for gifts.
Nearly 12 percent had policies in place to restrict online shopping in the workplace, but more than 15 percent of companies said workers spent two hours or more shopping instead of working.
"In addition to lost productivity, online shopping can put additional strain on business-critical network infrastructure, so it is imperative that network administrators are aware of what traffic is flowing around the network," Ennio Carboni, of Ipswitch, said in a press release.
Businesses can exercise administrative power to place certain internet restrictions on their employees, and it is within their right to stress the importance of a productive workplace with workers. The best tool to limit abuse may be to monitor network traffic while also remaining communicative with workers about upholding their responsibilities during this hectic time of year.
In addition, turning to business productivity tools such as database software may ensure that when employees are working, they are able to do so at maximum efficiency. The holiday season can provide many challenges for a business even in the best of circumstances, and as such, custom application development can yield beneficial tools to ensure work is conducted at a healthy rate.