Don’t let Cyber Monday ruin your productivity

Over the past few years Cyber Monday has become a profitable marketing tool for retailers. At the same time it has become a productivity drain for businesses. Employees, still full from gouging themselves on Thanksgiving and hunting for deals they missed on Black Friday meaning they will spend much of their time on November 30th shopping online.

Last year sales spiked 15% on Cyber Monday and Forrester predicts that despite the poor economy and less shopping going on in general that online shopping will increase by 8% this year on Cyber Monday. Declare November 30th a holiday! No, that won't help anything as this will only move Cyber Monday to Cyber Tuesday. One reason employees wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to shop online is precisely because they are at work.

They are sitting in front of a computer with high speed Internet access. The temptation is just too great. So it may seem like there is nothing your organization can do to plug the productivity drain from online shopping that will begin on November 30th and go all the way until December 24th at midnight – but there is something these organizations can do. If the company already has security products in place the first thing you should do is to reexamine the company's content filtering rules. Make sure retail sites such as and other popular Cyber Monday websites are blocked so access to these sites is prohibited.

This will be an unpopular move as many people are probably planning on shopping on Monday, but who is going to complain – to do so would admit you weren't planning on working much today. However, it may be a good idea to allow some online shopping to avoid an all out mutiny. Some content filtering tools (like tools from Astaro) allow you to create time based filtering rules.

Not only can you block inappropriate sites all the time, but you can select blocks of time (ex: lunch time, first thing in the morning, after hours etc.) where select sites such as shopping sites can be accessed. Providing some time where these sites are available will create good will with your employees while protecting your organization's productivity during the weeks before the holidays.


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