Working from home is fuelling your shopping addiction

People are spending a lot of money shopping online, and the peak retail therapy hours happen to be during working hours. We’ve all been there: sitting on a video call that could’ve been an email, thinking… What better time to shop around for some concert tickets? Researchers have found that remote work is boosting online sales by billions, and the trend dates back to the start of the pandemic. By March 2024, Americans, most of them hybrid and remote workers, spent an extra US$375 billion on online shopping compared to the period between 2015 to 2019. There isn’t clear data on how much remote workers have spent online shopping in Canada, but it’s expected that 77.6% of the population will be splurging online by 2025. Plus, retailers are capitalizing on peak shopping hours — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays — to incentivize remote workers to spend even more, timing promotions right about the time when focus wanes. Shopping during work doesn’t necessarily harm your productivity when it’s a short break — but buying out of boredom can lead to regrets. So next time you’re tempted, give your wallet a rest and do the NYT’s Mini Crossword like everyone else.