The most slacking-est time of the year

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.

TOPICS: CXO, IT Employment

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:

  •, 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.
  • 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

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  • Not even close!

    I pretty much work non-stop each day, including all last week. I did relax on Thursday and Friday, but the office was closed. Today, I ate lunch 45 minutes later than usual because of a database problem. From about 2:30 - 4:00 (quitting time) I was configuring a laptop and a desktop simultaneously.

    Shopping? Not even close. My major Christmas shopping was done in May. Now, before you go thinking I'm some whack job (not that it wouldn't be true), there's a reason for this. Every two years, Cirque du Soleil comes to town and I take my mom, my two brothers, and my nephew as their Christmas gifts. Tickets went on sale in May for the show that just came in September. So, my only shopping will be for a couple of trinkets for people in the office. Other than that, I'll be back to bustin' me hump again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, get the picture.
  • Why Not?

    If I do work on my personal time (which is frequent), why not do some personal things on work time?