Black Friday and Cyber Monday expected to cost UK businesses millions
ELAS head of consultancy, Peter Mooney, said, “Retailers across the UK reported record figures following 2014’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. However, not every business had cause for such celebration. With more than £810 million spent on approximately 404,835 online orders on Black Friday and a further £650 million spent on Cyber Monday, productivity in the workplace took a considerable slide, costing the UK economy millions of pounds in lost working hours over the two days.
“Unlike the US, we don’t have the luxury of Black Friday or Cyber Monday falling on a national holiday, so any time spent scouring the internet for a bargain will most likely take place during work hours. And, although it’s understandable that no one wants to miss out on a pre-Christmas bargain, employees need to know that browsing and buying during contracted work hours isn’t acceptable.”
ELAS advises that in the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, employers must have
a clear internet policy in place and ensure that it is properly implemented, with the appropriate training given.
In order to avoid taking disciplinary action against an employee, Mooney suggests that companies engage content filters on work computers to block access to retail websites. These filters could be lifted during breaks, to try and keep up staff morale. In addition, Mooney warned employers about the aftermath of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as staff often arrange to have the parcels delivered to the office. He said, “Large companies whose post intake generates a lot of administration on a daily basis, could discover that vital hours are being lost as a result of sorting packages that are not work-related.
“Employers are well within their rights to ban this practice if they believe it is affecting productivity and they can do so by implementing a fair and equal blanket policy.”