BRITONS are spending nearly £4,000 a year on online shopping while at work, a study shows.
A poll found that the average worker spends £3,687 a year – or £314 a month – from the comfort of their desk, with more than half (51 per cent) surfing the web at work at least once a day for goods.
The average online spend is equivalent to 14 per cent of the average salary, according to the report.
The survey found that 45 per cent of workers will forego a lunch break to “cyber shop”, with 1pm on Friday the most popular time – followed by 12:15pm on Monday.
More than half of those polled (52 per cent) bought gifts and cards online while at work, making them the most popular items to purchase, closely followed by DVDs and games (51 per cent) and tickets to sports, music and theatreperformances (45 per cent).
Men were bigger spenders than women, with an average of £86 a week compared to £68 a week, the poll of 1,001 adults found.
Nearly a third of men would have goods delivered to work rather than home, to keep the purchase from their other half.
Almost two-thirds of Britons (63 per cent) cited long working hours for their online shopping habits, while 39 per cent blamed work boredom.
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) online shop to put off doing work.
More than a third (37 per cent) said they cannot resist the temptation of online shopping, although 43 per cent feel less guilty about online shopping than they would about heading out to the shops during the working day.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) said they have no intention of cutting back on their online spending as it makes their busy working week more enjoyable.
Some 35 per cent of those who responded to the survey by insurance company Sheilas’ Wheels explained that they do not notice the cost as much when shopping online simply because they do not physically handover any cash.
Jacky Brown, at Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance, said: “It is no surprise that the long hours culture in Britain has led many workers to shop online and treat themselves to some well-deserved indulgence.
“As a result, workers are not just limiting themselves to buying food and drinks at lunchtime and instead they are heading online or out to the shops to buy anything from clothing and shoes, to DVDs and games.”