How do you handle a little Christmas shopping on work time?

The big day is drawing ever closer, and if you have still got a few gifts to buy you can understand the temptation of hopping online to tick a few more off the list.

But when this is being done in working hours it has the potential to cause problems.

Hopefully, none of your staff would take things too far and do all their Christmas shopping when they’re supposed to be working. That’s not to say that we haven’t seen it happen before though!

How do you handle a little Christmas shopping on work time?

First, we’d recommend you’re sympathetic to your employees. They spend a lot of their time working and that means they do have less time outside of work to quickly order that gift. However, when someone takes things from quickly ordering a gift to spending hours browsing ideas, you need to intervene.

This is where your mobile phone and internet use policies come into play. If you don’t already have these, create them, now!

In these you can make it very clear what you classify as acceptable use and what crosses the line into misconduct.

If you do already have these policies, make sure they’re up to date and re-issue them to employees to remind them of your expectations. While you may be a little more lenient during the lead up to Christmas, you need to make sure this is still fair and consistent. If you don’t treat everyone the same way you risk demotivating your team and accusations of favouritism.

If you decide to be a little more lenient with Christmas shopping, you still need to make sure it doesn’t have an impact on productivity. As soon as you notice a drop in productivity, put a stop to non-work-related internet use. And if your employees understand that this will happen, they’ll be far more likely to be fair with what they’re doing.

Along with this, you may also wish to decide your stance on personal deliveries coming to the office at this time of year. Your employees are likely to welcome this as it may be a lot more convenient for them, however, if it will put a strain on your reception or administrators, you may want to ban the practise before it gets out of hand.

Usually, if you show trust in your employees, you’ll be rewarded with them behaving in the right way. But if you need any help or advice, please contact us or give us a call on 01386 751740.

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