Employers, beware: The vast majority of working Americans are planning to shop online during work hours on Cyber Monday, according to a survey from digital coupon site RetailMeNot.
Put another way: Cyber Monday shopping could cost employers more than $2.5 billion per hour in lost productivity, based on a calculation from RetailMeNot using statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as 67% of those who responded to the survey said they planned to shop for at least an hour. Overall, 86% said they planned to do some online shopping during work.
A quarter of employees (25%) said they’re looking to spend four hours — yes, nearly half a work day — online shopping at the office.
The survey of 1,045 American adults was conducted by Omnibus for RetailMeNot from Oct. 1 to 8, and the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Before jumping on the bandwagon, consumers should consider this: One in five respondents who have shopped on Cyber Monday said they have been caught doing so. Unless your boss is among the at-work shoppers, using your work computer to comb the Internet for gift deals may be a risky choice.
Could the deals be worth it? That depends on what you’re looking to buy. For many consumers, deal-seeking is a huge part of keeping holiday expenses under budget, which can be crucial to avoiding post-holiday debt.
Not only will overspending hurt your budget, it could hurt your credit scores if you’re spending a lot on credit cards — doing so increases your credit utilization rate, which makes up nearly a third of credit scores. It’s also important to make timely payments on all bills because late payments will ding credit scores,as well. For all of these reasons, it’s important to stay on top of your credit so you can steer yourself back to better spending habits. Monitoring your credit scores — which you can do for free using an online tool like Credit.com’s Credit Report Card — can help keep you aware of your credit health during the holidays, and beyond.
Image: Getty Images