Of the more than 2,200 human resources professionals and 3,100 full-time workers in the private sector who responded to the survey, 53 percent of the bosses — from the C-suite on down to team leaders — said they planned to shop online during work hours, versus just 46 percent of those who don't manage other people. Among those bosses who admitted they would peruse the Web for deals at work, 10 percent said they would use up more than three hours doing so.
The data shouldn't be much of a surprise, though. Higher-level managers have more autonomy in their jobs, and may work longer hours or spend more time at their desks than entry-level workers do in some industries. And of course, they're likely less concerned about losing their jobs over something as inconsequential as snagging some free shipping deals and 40 percent discounts online.
Still, it's a reminder that many corporate Web use policies are looking a bit archaic. Bosses have been shown to use social media at work more than their underlings, after all. More companies are adopting bring-your-own-device policies that further blur the lines between personal and professional computer use on the job. And as people increasingly work longer and longer hours, more of them — whatever their status in the hierarchy may be — believe it's only fair to spend 15 minutes during the workday buying an Elsa doll on sale, given the many hours they spend responding to work e-mails during their evenings at home.
Corporate leaders shouldn't be too concerned about online shopping. CareerBuilder's survey shows that this year, just 47 percent of workers said they were going to shop online during work hours, down from 54 percent last year. That would make this the lowest rate since the recession ended.
For those leaders who still do worry, and who tighten their Web guidelines as a result, they should keep in mind it's not just the millennials and entry-level folks frittering away work hours shopping online for deals. It's also some of their most valued and most senior employees, who expect to be trusted and treated like the adult workers that they are.