The Christmas shopping season is now ramping up, with Black Friday about to kick off the annual festive frenzy.
However, no matter how tempting it might be to dive into the discounts, it’s essential that you consider how you do your online shopping. Where it’s usually okay to use your phone now and again at work for personal reasons, don’t assume your boss will be understanding if they catch you filling your cart with stocking fillers when you should be immersed in your work.
Resist the lure of the smartphone
It’s all too easy to reach for your phone every time it pings or buzzes – it has become an impulse thanks to smartphone culture. So, this year we recommend that you invest some thought into how you shop in a way that doesn’t tarnish your workplace reputation.
With UK smartphone users touching their screens a thousand times a day on average, and others spending almost one hour on their phone at work for non-work activity, it’s crucial that you resist grabbing your device too often to make purchases or to WhatsApp your other half to check you’re buying the right size shoes!
Reasons to be cautious
Employers are right to be concerned about personal phone use. Just by having your phone nearby, without any interaction, our performance can be significantly impacted.
Research reveals that notifications of texts and calls are enough to distract us, causing us to make mistakes. Experiments show that people are three times more likely to make errors, even if they don’t pick up the phone to take a call.
Black Friday Dos and Don’ts
Almost half of people surveyed in the UK are planning to at least look at what retailers are offering this Black Friday. If you’re one of them, we recommend that you follow these dos and don’ts to prevent irritating your employer.
- Don’t ignore the company’s phone policy in the company handbook. If you do, you could be the subject of disciplinary action, or worse, termination of employment if your phone use is deemed to be excessive.
- Don’t take your phone into meetings – even taking a quick glance at the latest alerts could reflect very badly on your performance.
- Do schedule in breaks to go online and bag the bargains, but make sure you ask your line manager to agree to your plan in advance.
- Before you go into the workplace, do switch your phone to silent mode so you can minimise any disruption.
- Don’t get sucked into bidding wars on eBay or other auction sites, as this is very likely to be too much of a distraction. Instead, you can bid on auctions which are due to end in the evening.
- Do identify your favourite deals before Black Friday so you can make purchases quickly before you go to work or during your lunch break.
- Don’t take your phone into the toilet – it’s unacceptable at any time of year!
- Do suggest to your boss that the business could also benefit from Black Friday, and volunteer to keep an eye out for bargains on office equipment, technology, client gift hampers, and other useful items.
- Do book annual leave if you’re serious about Black Friday or any other day of Christmas shopping. This way you can fully enjoy it, leaving your working life unaffected.
Happy Black Friday everyone, but, remember, please put your job first regardless of how tempting the discounts may seem.