Staff online Christmas shopping at work: survey

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Almost a quarter of employees surveyed plan to do their Christmas shopping online while at the office, according to a study.

Almost a quarter of employees surveyed plan to do their Christmas shopping online while at the office, according to a study.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for software vendor Clearswift, found that 23 percent of respondents planned to use the internet while they were at work to shop for Christmas presents.

Out of 2000 respondents, 27 percent of males and 17 percent of females said they planned to do their Christmas shopping online at work.

Peter Croft, managing director at Clearswift Asia Pacific, said that while the trend might be good for online retailers, employers could be concerned.

“Browsing online for Christmas gifts can distract employees from work," Croft said.

“It's also more than a productivity issue. If employees are tempted by offers in spam emails, they may unknowingly download viruses, spyware or other malicious code that can cause system downtime or loss of confidential information.”

"The major problem is that any activity on the web can be fraught with danger if you don't have proper policies and technology in place," Croft said.

He said that people might also let their guard down at Christmas and click on emails they otherwise wouldn't. "Spammers are alive to the issues of the season as well and will play on recipients desire to be involved in the Christmas spirit," Croft added.

According to a statement, Clearswift also believes demand for e-cards will increase this Christmas, with 25 percent of respondents planning to send them.

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