Today is “Cyber Monday,” but brandchannel.com, among others, reports that the day has morphed into “Mobile Monday,” much to the relief of HR and IT departments across the country.
Years ago, BLR® asked “Is employee shopping online during work hours a serious problem in your workplace?” Back then, many employees did not have computers at home or had access to the Internet limited to a set number of hours per month. So employees would use their computers at work to take advantage of post-Black Friday sales online, often compromising both productivity—and the company’s bandwidth.
Now, with employees having Internet access on their smartphones and tablets and the ability to download super-saving shopping apps to their personal mobile devices, the use of company computers on Cyber Monday has lessened. In March, a BLR article reported on a survey of 500 IT professionals conducted by Braun Research rated the negative impact of Cyber Monday and holiday shopping on IT networks well below that of March Madness, when employees live stream the day games, and not much above employees’ usual social media traffic.
As BLR reported, CIOs and IT managers told a Robert Half Technology survey that they continue to block some shopping sites and monitor their Internet for excessive use around the holidays. And employers may still try to limit employees’ at-work shopping to breaks and lunchtime by issuing policies or polite reminders. However, many employers have just come to accept online shopping by workers as part of the holiday season. And many HR staffers have admitted to shopping at work themselves on Cyber Monday.
The ease of using the mobile devices may lessen the impact on productivity that has plagued this day in the past, when employees reported spending about 3 hours doing online shopping when they should have been working. Now they can shop anywhere at anytime!
So we may have to relegate the term “Cyber Monday” to the list of workplace words we no longer use, like “typing” and “VDTs,” and ask you next year if Mobile Monday is a serious problem.