New Twist For At-Work Internet Shopping: Make It A Benefit!

If you can't stop them, encourage them. That's the interpretation of yet another survey showing that employees are spending oodles of working hours shopping online. Fully half of this year's online holiday purchases will be made from the workplace, according to an online poll conducted by RewardsPlus, a Web-based benefits firm. The poll of 200 U.S. people - - a representative sampling of online consumers who have Internet access through their employers and/or at home - - was conducted in December. Additionally, the RewardsPlus survey found that of those online consumers who have never shopped online at work, 40% planned to do so by this holiday season. Further, 20% of those who have never made any purchase online plan to buy online at work this holiday season. "Companies are now finding that while the Internet can bring efficiencies in their operations and increase productivity among employees, they need to find a way to manage how employees spend their time online" says Ken Barksdale, president of Baltimore-based RewardsPlus. "This means that companies should try instead to position Internet access as a way to help employees balance their work and personal lives." While the number of online shoppers logging in at work to buy gifts this holiday season might seem staggering, RewardsPlus found that online shopping during work hours is not just a seasonal activity. The survey found that during the rest of the year, 35% of online consumers said they make most of their online purchases at work.

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