January is a popular time for bargain hunting, and this spells bad news for bosses: Recent research carried out here at Office Genie has found a majority (57%) of UK workers would hit online sales in work time.
The survey of 1,204 working-age people also found a further 7% would even miss work altogether in order to find sale bargains in-store or online.
The worst culprits were found to be people aged 18-24, with 69% of respondents in this category admitting they’d happily shop online when they should be working hard.
Similarly, workers in Wales (70%) and Northern Ireland (69%) said they were most likely to be distracted by the seasonal sales. Workers in Scotland were found to be the most dedicated; only 47% of respondents said they’d be happy to bargain hunt on work time.
It was also found home workers were 2% less likely to be bunking off to grab bargains than their office-based colleagues.
Ciaron Dunne, CEO at Office Genie, has the following advice for employers: “January sales are always a danger time for businesses. Loads of us want to be out (or online) shopping for bargains, and it's easy to see how this clash can lead to people skipping work or even just overrunning lunch breaks.
“Clearly such behaviour causes problems for employers and tension among work colleagues. The best advice for employers is to acknowledge the situation and provide positive guidance as to what is expected of staff.
“It's rarely good for bosses to appear harsh and controlling, so if it's possible to offer flexible working hours this may encourage the best of both worlds. For all employers this is an excellent opportunity to review and re-communicate internet-use and flexible-working policies.”
Total respondents: 1204