Media Release

Working hard or hardly working: 1 in 2 Aussies shopping on the boss’ watch

  • 47% of Aussies shop online during work hours
  • Women less likely to browse on the boss’s time
  • New South Wales and Western Australia employees most likely to bludge

10 April 2018, Sydney, Australia – If you’re prone to a little online shopping at work you’re not alone, according to new research by, the site that compares virtually everything reveals.

The recent survey of 2,085 people reveals that almost 47% of respondents – equivalent to 9 million Aussies – indulge in online shopping or browsing during work hours.

This lost productivity is costing Aussie businesses $603 million in wages every single week or $31.1 billion annually - up from $23.8 billion in 2017.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at isn’t surprised by these findings as the line between work and leisure is increasingly blurred.

“Many Aussies spend a large part of their work day in front of a computer so it can be easy to deviate from their tasks, especially when you consider newsletters and targeted marketing.”

“But on the flip side, it’s not uncommon to hear of some employees checking their emails at home, or answering a work phone call. Still, if you do feel like an online browse, do it within your break.”

The proportion of Aussies happy to jump online for leisure during work hours is up from 36% in 2017, to 47% this year – an increase in 2.5 million people.

The research also shows that over one third (39%) of Aussies spend up to two hours each week indulging in some online retail therapy.

“Browsing online during work hours eats into the time you have to actually complete your tasks for the day, meaning you might have to stay back later to finish it off. Really, the quicker you can complete your work, the sooner you can go home.”

Female employees are less likely to dip into work hours for online shopping than men, with 36% stating they don’t browse or shop online when at work in comparison to 30% of men.

“If you really don’t think you can avoid the pull of online shopping don’t check your personal emails while you’re at work. This way you avoid the temptation of an online sale when it pops up in a newsletter email.”

Looking at Aussies who are employed, 67% admit to shopping on the clock. The research also shows workers from New South Wales and Western Australia are most likely to sneak in a cheeky browse.

percentage of employees shopping online chart


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About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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