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Black Friday could hit productivity in the workplace

11 November 2015 - 11:03 by Simon Crisp

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Employers across the UK are worried about the impact that Black Friday will have on the productivity of staff, since millions of people will be able to carry out safe shopping online from the office when this year’s pre-Christmas sales extravaganza gets underway.

The Independent reports that there are not only concerns over productivity taking a dip as a result of people shopping on the job, but also because many employees are actually requesting to take time off on Black Friday this year, so that they have more time to seek out bargains both online and on the high street.

Employers have actually been surprised by the influx of requests for time off from staff this year, stating that usually people take advantage of annual leave during standard holiday periods, such as Easter and Christmas. But, apparently, the power of Black Friday is becoming so significant that it is altering habits on a huge scale.

Surveys suggest that one in six people is expected to get involved with Black Friday by making a purchase. And employers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, because they fear that by denying holiday requests, people will simply carry out safe shopping online while they are at work, to make up for missing out on direct participation.

Businesses are having to balance the prospect of having a shortage of staff on November 27th this year against having everyone in the office getting distracted by the opportunity to buy into Black Friday deals.

Many organisations will now be updating their policies on internet use to address the potential hit that productivity could take on Black Friday and the following Cyber Monday. However, since people can also shop from their smartphones, there will always be a way around this.