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3 Ways to Prevent Time Theft on Cyber Monday

Man shopping online
Article Highlights:

  • 53% of employees are using work hours to shop online.
  • Help your employees resist the urge to shop this holiday season.

Cyber Monday is the perfect day to score deals this holiday season. With one click, thousands of discounts appear at your fingertips. Can your employees resist the temptation to shop while they’re on the clock?

Time theft is a huge problem year round, but peaks during the holiday season. Time theft is when your employees are on the clock, but are distracted and completing personal tasks. Your employees seem to be working most of the day, so how bad can it be?

Many employees aren’t aware of how quickly time can add up. According to a survey by Robert Half International, employees on average spend 4.5 hours a week off-task. This can come from employees streaming online and updating their social media accounts. It can also come from checking personal emails. Employees should be using this time to recommend services, or help customers find their next car.

Does time theft get worse around the holidays? Yes. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, during the holiday season, 53% of employees are using work hours to shop online. Forty-three percent of those shopping will be distracted for an hour or more.

What can you do to prevent time theft?

1. Remind employees that online shopping is not appropriate during work hours. You can send out an email reminder, but an in-person message will resonate more with your team. Let them know they do great work, and you don’t want to see business hindered by the shopping season. Focus on the positives of your dealership, and motivate your employees to stay focused on their work despite the distractions.

2. Be a presence. Periodically observe what your employees are doing. Walk around to see how they are spending their time. The more you are present, the less likely they are to distract themselves with shopping or other personal tasks.

3. Filter out web content employees aren’t allowed to view during the day. Implementing a web content filtering solution can prevent workers from using your computers to steal time, and won’t draw you away from your desk. One phone call can instantly block YouTube, Amazon, Macy’s, and other websites your employees shouldn’t access at work.

For the next few weeks, there will be pop-ups and suggested searches to lure your employees away from their work. “Up to 70% off!” is hard to resist, but your employees need to wait until the workday is over to go home and fill their carts. Make sure you are taking action to remove the temptation to shop this holiday season.

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MariKyle was a Product Planning Manager at Reynolds and Reynolds for Networking, Document Archiving Solutions, and Name File Services. MariKyle, a graduate of the University of Dayton and Wright State University, was with Reynolds for over eight years and held various positions in the Product Planning department.

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