More Employees Are Running Errands During Work Hours

In a recent survey, nearly all respondents admitted to performing personal tasks, both on- and offline, during the work day. More managers are fine with it, partially because they're doing it too.

What's the Latest Development?

A survey of adults living in 14 metropolitan areas in the US and Canada revealed that fully 93 percent of them spend part of their work day either shopping online, shopping offline, and/or running other personal errands. Captivate, the company that conducted the survey, found that the number of adults who shop online during business hours increased by 63 percent from 2011, and that one in five admitted to doing all three activities in a given week.

What's the Big Idea?

Managers seem to be loosening their grip on their employees' schedules, with more of them warming up to the idea of flextime and work-from-home options. Marks Group PC owner Gene Marks did away with a traditional central office entirely: "I don’t really care what [my employees are] doing with their days...I only care about them getting their jobs done and on time." While Captivate research director Scott Marden stated that people appear to be willing to put in longer hours in exchange for such flexibility, expert Dana Manciagli says people shouldn't be pressured to do so. She also says that clear communication is needed so that employees know what's expected: "If you are not clear on the deliverables, get clear."

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