Black Friday plans | 70% of staff will shop on company time

70% of staff will shop on company time

With Black Friday making its annual appearance next Friday, employers should brace themselves for a day of hampered productivity, new research has found.

A study conducted by revealed that almost seven in 10 (67%) employees will carry out their Black Friday shopping on company time while their boss isn’t looking, which will drain workplace productivity for a large chunk of the day.

When analysed by geographic area, employees based in London were the most prone to waver off task and complete their Black Friday shopping whilst at work (71%), with the North East (68%) and the South East (64%) ranking closely behind.

Shopping on the go was also a popular contender. With many Brits enduring lengthy commutes to work, 50% of employees are set to carry out their shopping whilst on the train with West Midlands commuters ranking top at 59%.

With productivity predicted to slump on Black Friday, HR teams should explore ways to engage employees and keep them productive throughout the working day.

Reiterating the rules and regulations regarding internet and mobile phone use at work with employees is crucial.

While these company policies will already be communicated in employee handbooks, being clear on what is and isn’t accepted – and the ramifications of breaking the rules – to prevent misconduct from occurring.

However, if employees are able to use work facilities on their rest breaks to online shop make this clear to them.

Some employees may not have booked off annual leave to coincide with Black Friday but try to pull a coincidental ‘sickie’ due to a sudden case of fictitious flu.

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While some sicknesses may be genuine – and employers should be careful before jumping to conclusions – having a return to work meeting will help get to the bottom of the truth. If an employee has been lying then formal action can be taken.

Yet it is important to enjoy the festive fun with employees from a moral perspective.

To help those employees wanting to take advantage of the slashed prices just before Christmas, gifting employees an hour or so of company time to enjoy the sales will ensure that when they return to their desk, they aren’t distracted by the thought of that discounted laptop and can get on with their work instead.

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