Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., November 13, 2006 — According to the latest Spherion® Workplace Snapshot survey conducted by Harris Interactive®, more than half of adult workers (54 percent) choose not to use their computer at work to shop for or buy gifts online during the holidays, with almost as many (49 percent) saying they do not feel it is acceptable to do so. This is despite a majority of employers (70 percent) who do not block employee access to retail Web sites, according to the workers surveyed.
On the flip side, almost one-third of employees (30 percent) feel that it is acceptable to use their computer at work to shop for or buy holiday gifts, and 26 percent do so. Of these, two-thirds (66 percent) spend 15 minutes or more, on average, each time they go online at work to shop for or buy holiday gifts.
“Using computers at work to buy gifts during the holidays may be a symptom of employees’ ongoing difficulty in balancing their professional and personal lives,” observed Nancy Halverson, vice president of talent development at Spherion. “We know from previous surveys that more than two-thirds of adult workers aren’t satisfied with their ability to balance their work and personal lives. With growing personal responsibilities and increasing hours on the job, the line between home and work continues to blur.”
According to Halverson, it is important for employers to have policies governing the use of company computers for personal business so that employees understand their parameters. For example, allowing personal use during lunch breaks may be an acceptable standard for some employers.
“While as many as 80 percent of employers monitor their employees’ Internet usage, according to ABCNews.com, many have not yet developed policies governing that use,” said Halverson. “Policies let workers know what kind and how much personal online activity is acceptable. It can be difficult to reprimand them for excessive Internet use when they aren’t aware of the acceptable limits.”
Other results from the most recent Spherion Workplace Snapshot Survey:
Majority of employers do not block access to retail Web sites.
- 70 percent of workers say their employer does not block access to retail Web sites, compared to 13 percent who say their access is blocked.
- 17 percent don’t know or aren’t sure whether their employer blocks access to retail Web sites—due in part perhaps to 21 percent who report having no access to a computer at work.
Nearly half of workers surveyed (49 percent) do not feel it is acceptable to use their computer at work to gift-shop online during the holidays.
- 30 percent feel it is acceptable to shop online at work during the holidays.
- 21 percent reported no opinion as to whether it is acceptable or not acceptable.
Workers aged 30 to 39 most likely to shop online at work during the holidays.
- 37 percent of adults aged 30 to 39 report using their work computers to shop or buy gifts online during the holidays—more than any other age group.
- Workers aged 50 to 64 are least likely to do so (17 percent).
Female workers take more time to shop, per online visit, than male workers.
- Among males, 41 percent spend 15 to under 30 minutes each time they shop, and 36 percent take less than 15 minutes per visit.
- Among females, 38 percent report spending 30 minutes or more each time they shop online at work.
The October 2006 Spherion Workplace Snapshot is based on data from the Harris Interactive® QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation.
A U.S. sample of 1,233 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a poll conducted October 9-11, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents' propensity to be online.
With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 1,233 U.S. employed adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- three percentage points. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for 60 years, Spherion has screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs. Positions range from administrative and light industrial to a host of professions that include accounting/finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, legal, human resources and sales/marketing.
With approximately 650 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing 375,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America’s largest employers. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com. For up-to-date career tips and trends, visit Spherion’s career blog, The Big TimeSM, at www.spherion.com/careerblog.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.
To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit http://go.hpolsurveys.com/PR.