Mall Rush Forces Many to Shop on Line at Work

Article excerpt

Start your shopping engines. Black Friday has passed, and the gift-buying frenzy will undoubtedly spill into the office.

The daunting idea of hitting area malls will force many to their computers this season, and some of those shoppers will use company time to make personal purchases.

SurfControl, a California-based maker of Internet filtering software, cites several studies showing that people are shopping at work.

Last year, Forrester Research estimated 17 percent of on-line shoppers bought gifts from work. BizRate.com asked its customers where they shop, and 70 percent responded work was their favorite spot.

But buying that bike for little Timmy on toysrus.com could cost employers productivity and may expose the shopper's financial information.

SurfControl suggests bosses clearly identify "do's" and "don'ts" of Internet usage, and determine who will be responsible for enforcement.

"Train employees not only in the mechanics of using e-mail and browsers but in the ethical, legal and security aspects of accessing the Internet in the workplace," SurfControl says in a press release.

So the mocha scent from Starbucks.com seems to waft from the screen. You can virtually see yourself (wait, it's the holidays - your sister) in that great velvet wrap on AnnTaylor.com. And maybe you get choked up thinking about your dad tearing the wrapping off his new fishing rod from Walmart.com.

Snap out of it. Check your company's policies and use common sense before you go hog-wild at Amazon.com.

EXTENDED TURKEY DAY

Loosen that belt a few notches, it's turkey time. …