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Xmas Shopping To Cost British Businesses Millions

Bloxx, a enterprise web filtering specialist, today warned that the continued dramatic growth of online shopping could end up costing British businesses millions of pounds in lost productivity in the run up to Christmas.

The Retail Association revealed this year that online sales reached £10.9B last year1, growing 13 times faster than the overall retail sector.

With the Christmas shopping frenzy now starting in earnest and remaining throughout the rest of the year, the cost to UK businesses due to staff spending inordinate amounts of time shopping online during working hours could be huge.

According to the Business Software Alliance, 46% of online shopping happens during working hours, and whilst some of this will be business related, there is strong evidence to suggest that personal online shopping during working hours is a growing problem.

Working on an average of just one hour spent shopping online during the working week and using an average hourly wage of £12.502, Bloxx estimates that UK employers could stand to loose £260 million a week in lost productivity.

"Not many companies will be so mean as to not allow their employees some time to do their Christmas shopping," comments Bloxx Sales and Marketing Director Paul Irvine. "However, with the addictive nature of online shopping, it can be all too easy for employees to get carried away and end up spending hours online during the working day."

To address the problem, employers need to act now - before the Christmas shopping season gets underway - by ensuring that they have a comprehensive Internet Use Policy in place.

"Companies need to ensure that they have a clear Acceptable Use Policy for Internet usage during working hours and ensure that this is communicated regularly to employees," added law firm Pinsent Masons' Partner Kirsty Ayre. "Employees need to know what is acceptable and what the consequences could be for breaking the policy."

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.