Shopping at work? More CIOs say it’s not allowed

Among 1,400 CIOs polled by Robert Half Technology, 60% say their companies block access to online shopping sites

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As scores of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping deals start piling up, do you know what your end users are up to? Are you being asked to curb your fellow workers' online shopping activities? If so, you're not alone. More companies are taking steps to restrict holiday shopping at work, according to CIOs surveyed by Robert Half Technology.

Among 1,400 CIOs polled, 60% said their companies block access to online shopping sites. When the staffing firm asked the same question last year, just 48% of CIOs said their companies blocked employees from using company equipment to shop online.

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As for the remaining CIOs who don't block access, 23% said they allow access but monitor activity for excessive use, 13% allow unrestricted access, and 4% don't know. The CIOs whose firms allow online shopping said they expect employees to spend four hours per week, on average, surfing for deals this holiday season.

Not surprisingly, many employees may use their own devices to shop from the office, circumventing company rules.

"With an increasing number of firms blocking access to shopping sites, many employees may turn to mobile devices to shop at the office," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement.

Ann Bednarz covers IT careers, outsourcing and Internet culture for Network World. Follow Ann on Twitter at @annbednarz and check out her blog, Occupational Hazards. Her e-mail address is

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