Why You Should Allow Employees to do Online Shopping at Work – Digital Market News - Freelance Rack

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Why You Should Allow Employees to do Online Shopping at Work – Digital Market News

Encouraging your employees to shop all through work hours sounds odd, to put it moderately. But armed with some data, I’m willing to explain why it’s not exactly like kicking yourself or throwing your hard earned money in the air.

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You shouldn’t only allow employees to do personal shopping at work. You should be happy when they do it. As the founder of the time tracking app DeskTime, I’ve for ages been passionate about productivity. But I’ve usually found it to be misunderstood by staff and managers.

On the DeskTime app, we’ve labeled sites and applications ”productive” or ”unproductive”. But would be the unproductive ones really harmful to our team’s efficiency? Or, are they a distraction that’s sometimes welcome and even necessary?

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That’s why we decided to look at a supposedly unproductive activity – on the web shopping all through office hours.

Employees spend more than half an hour per day in on the web shopping.

Many studies confirm everything you may have already suspected to be true – many people engage in on the web shopping at work. When you look at millennials, 81 % of them browse shopping websites during work hours.

We decided to have a closer look at this phenomenon, so we gathered data from significantly more than 180K users of our app. We pulled data concerning the utilization of online shopping sites throughout the last four years.

First of all, we confirmed that office workers indeed use on the web shopping to procrastinate all through work hours. We pointed out that online shopping at work is a growing trend.

Let me explain:

In 2016, an average DeskTime user spent only up to 12 minutes per day on on the web shopping, but a year later, this number more than doubled. In 2018, an average office worker had been spending up to 45 minutes per day shopping. Last year, however, the trend seems to have slowed up with 32 minutes dedicated to on the web shopping each day.

That being said, inspite of the slight changes in on the web shopping dynamics we observed last year, I still believe those workers in offices from all around the globe will carry on to flock to the Internet to make purchases. It wouldn’t be considered a surprise if the total time spent on on the web shopping all through work hours would increase again in 2020 combined with entire ecommerce market, that is also continuously growing.

Where do employees shop the most all through office hours?

When it comes to on the web shopping destinations, Amazon remains the most popular ecommerce site visited during office hours. In 2019, people spent nearly 60 % of all time dedicated to on the web shopping browsing Amazon. The runner-up is eBay with 11.6 % and Etsy with 4 percent ranking third.

Top online shopping destinations all through work hours, 2019

So, if you weren’t sure that your employees shopped during work hours, now you should be. From now on, it’s up to you whether you let them do it openly or whether you’d prefer them to sneak around.

Let me explain why I think transparency is the best policy here and exactly why you should not mind your team doing some shopping at work.

1: Online shopping is among the least harmful unproductive activities

Online shopping is not even close to being the largest productivity threat to organizations. So, before you block all ecommerce websites at the office or fire someone for browsing Amazon at work, reflect on this:

Only about 3.8 % of the unproductive time is used on shopping, according to the information.

In the meantime, social media and video streaming websites (such as YouTube and Netflix) take up 49 % and 35 percent, respectively.

2: Shopping makes employees happier

Numerous studies explain that the utilization of social media may cause depression and anxiety. On the contrary, shopping has been found to promote the release of dopamine – a hormone that plays an essential role in how happy we feel.

A distraction like shopping lets employees requires a mental break. And happy employees are observed to be much more productive and efficient. Also, people who aren’t policed and restricted at work are less likely to search for still another job.

When you look at it like that, allowing your employees to buy some new gadget or a bit of clothing all through working hours doesn’t appear to be such a big deal, does it? Certainly not if it can boost morale and reduce employee turnover.

3: Shopping at work can actually make people more productive

Imagine yourself in times where you merely did some shopping all through work hours. How do you feel?

Are you satisfied that you’ve saved some of your private time? Guilty for abandoning work duties for a time?

Probably a bit of both. I guess this combination of happiness and guilt can give a productivity boost to lots of people.

Studies prove that employees’ productivity soars after short breaks. And psychologists claim that giving your brain a brief rest might help you stay focused on the job at hand.

Ideally, you should encourage taking breaks away from the computer which means that your employees rest their eyes, stretch, walk around, and drink some water. However, if a mental break is what they want at that moment, allow it to be.

Key takeaway?

A modern workplace should put a concentrate on employee performance rather than on counting the minutes used on productive or unproductive activities. And you heard that from me, the founder of an occasion tracking app.

Instead of restricting personal shopping in the workplace, consider starting an initiative where each employee can spend up to 30 minutes a day on settling personal business at work.

Remember – intrinsic motivation is an important player in a company’s overall productivity and in reducing employee turnover. Trusting your employees and providing them with a break is really a more significant motivation booster than you might think.

Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels

Artis Rozentals

Artis Rozentals is really a productivity enthusiast and CEO of DeskTime, employee productivity and time tracking pc software with not exactly 200k users worldwide. He’s also an amateur cyclist, biohacker, and father of two.

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