Online Shopping At Work

Whether it’s Cyber Monday, Christmas shopping or January sales, online shopping at work can store up problems for employers. Employers take differing approaches to internet use that is not work related. Some ban all personal use of company facilities, while others allow employees to access the internet at work as long as the level of use is reasonable and/or is during breaks.

Here are my Top Tips to giving employees some leeway to use the internet during working hours:

  • Have a written policy that makes clear what approach the organisation takes – ideally setting clear limits on the time allowed and the sort of sites that may
    be visited.
  • Remind employees of your policy and how these relate to specific events, such as Cyber Monday.
  • Where an employee breaches the rules, address the issue as soon as it comes to light. You might do this informally if the offence is minor.
  • If the offence is serious or the employee persistently breaks the rules, you may wish to invoke the disciplinary procedure.
  • Treat everyone fairly and consistently to avoid allegations of unfair or discriminatory treatment.

All this applies regardless of whether the employee is doing their Christmas shopping, researching their next summer holiday or catching up on sports results.


An hour of my time can save MANY hours of your time!
I can review your Employee Handbook for compliance with employment legislation and provide a written report detailing which sections of your handbook are out of date because legislation has changed and therefore putting your business at risk. I will also include my general observations of how the user friendliness of your Employee Handbook could be improved.

You will receive your report within 5 working days of sending me your handbook.

Online Shopping At Work

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If you found this helpful and you would like to learn more about how I work with owners of small business who want to improve their HR management, please go here.

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