The most slacking-est time of the year

Summary:Is this what your office looks like from November to January?Statistically speaking, you're not doing any work today -- or so poll after poll out this time of year about "lost productivity hours" and "distracted workers" claims.

Is this what your office looks like from November to January?
Statistically speaking, you're not doing any work today -- or so poll after poll out this time of year about "lost productivity hours" and "distracted workers" claims.

You probably won't work for the rest of the week, either and you didn't last week, when half your office was out for Thanksgiving and you likely didn't do a lick of work after Tuesday afternoon. Next week, when the days until Santa are down to the mere teens, you're probably not going to be focused on the daily grind either. And the week after that, you'll likely already be on vacation and probably won't be back until January, when you'll start focusing on your MLK Birthday ski weekend.

Ah, it's the most wonderful time of the year, indeed! But here is what the curmudgeons are saying:

  • Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, says 84.6 million U.S. consumers planned to shop via their home or workplace Internet connections today, also known as Cyber Monday.
  • ComScore, a marketing research firm, says that online spending numbers on Green Monday, a term coined by eBay for the second Monday in a December, trumps both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, at $881 million versus $430 and $610 million respectively.
  • CareerBuilder.com warns that workplace productivity will be impacted throughout the holiday season. Of those who plan to holiday shop online this season while at work, 43 percent of workers anticipate they would spend more than one hour, 23 percent said they would spend two hours or more and 13 percent said they'd spend spend three hours or more doing so.

So, what's a manager to do as he or she walks through cubicle aisles with monitors turned away from their view and employees furiously minimizing screens as they are approached? You could take pity on your employees, who have done nothing but toil and sweat for the organization's bottom line for the majority of the year, and whose resistances are weakened by Cyber Monday's "free shipping" and "low low prices" tugging at their sleeves.

Or, you can do as the Vatican is: threaten time clocks and performance evaluations until employees stop wasting company money. But don't be surprised if you hear people whistling the Grinch theme song as you pass through the aisles. It is that time of year, after all.

Topics: CXO, IT Employment

About

Deb Perelman is a journalist in New York City with a focus on tech and the daily grind. Previously she was a reporter for eWEEK, leading the magazine and Web site's coverage of the issue and trends that affect IT workers.

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