Personal Finance

What to watch out for when shopping online from work this Cyber Monday

Key Points
  • A recent survey found that 52% of workers plan to shop online at work this Cyber Monday.
  • This so-called workshopping can interfere with productivity. Plus, it can also compromise your employer's technology.
  • Here are the ways you can protect your employer and keep your reputation intact as you click "buy."
Pictured: (l-r) Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute and Steve Carell as Michael Scott in an episode of "The Office."
Justin Lubin | NBCU Photo Bank

If you're like many workers, you'll be shopping online while you're working today.

A recent survey from Robert Half Technology, a human resources consulting company, found that 52% of employees plan to shop online this Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday is the most popular day for online shopping at work — or "workshopping" — according to 43% of those surveyed, followed by Amazon Prime day, with 38%.

And 44% of workers admitted that their productivity suffers when they shop, according to the survey.

Workers who are most likely to "workshop" include those ages 25 to 40. Men were more inclined than women to admit that scrolling for deals hurt their productivity.

Consumers spent a record $7.4 billion online this Black Friday

Another group that's most likely to search for goods at work: working parents.

As you scour the web at work for sales, there are some risks you want to keep in mind.

Compromised security

With more shoppers online, there's also an increase in predators who want to steal your credit card numbers and other personal information.

When online shopping at work, you also run the risk of giving those bad actors access to your company server, which can cause all kinds of problems, said Bill Driscoll, senior district president at Robert Half Technology.

To help avoid that, always use websites you know and make sure the web address starts with "https," Driscoll said.

More from Personal Finance:
Cyber Monday strategies: the do's and don'ts this shopping season
How to avoid digging yourself deeper in debt this holiday season
Steps to take now to get a good financial start in 2020

Damaged reputation

With so many workers connected to smart phones, the line between personal and professional has become increasingly blurry, Driscoll said.

And while many employers know (and grudingly accept) that their workers may shop online on Cyber Monday, you still want to make sure that it does not compromise your reputation at work.

"Be professional. Use your time wisely, [and] realize you're at work," Driscoll said.

The online survey included 2,800 employees ages 18 and up who work in offices.