What Are Else Are Employees Up To? Shopping Online During Con Calls
October 8, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Last week, I told you about a survey commissioned by CareerBuilder.com that told of the shenanigans that employees in the American workforce admit to doing why they are at work–including sleeping on the job, kissing each other, backstabbing, and other office sports. This week, a survey by Bill Me Later, an online payment service provider that competes with eBay‘s PayPal and Google‘s Checkout services, and Ipsos Insight, a survey-based market research company, tells us all about the habits of employees as they shop online at work.
While the CareerBuilder.com survey was based on data from 5,750 people, this new survey is based on 1,000 survey responses, and extrapolated to the size of the American workforce. If the numbers Bill Me Later and Ipsos got are representative, then over 12 million Americans have shopped online during a conference call in the past year, and 1 million of these people were actually busted shopping during the call. (The two organizations doing the survey did not say what percentage of respondents did not shop during calls, but presumably this number was low.)
Hilariously, those caught shopping in the job sometimes discussed what they were buying and asked for second opinions on the items. Of the 12 million estimated to shop online while on a conference call, 23 percent said they do it five or more times in the past year, and 12 percent said they did it 10 times or more. Men shop online during conference calls more frequently than women (but the margin was not revealed), showing once again that men tend to behave worse than women in the workplace. Those with college degrees between the ages of 35 and 54 who earn more than $50,000 a year do the most shopping during conference calls. No surprises there–these are workers with the most disposable income, the most access to computers, and the highest likelihood of being on a lot of conference calls.