Do You Search For New Jobs On Your Work PC?

Do You Search For New Jobs On Your Work PC?

According to a national poll conducted by job matching network OneShift, approximately half of Australian workers actively search for new jobs online during work hours. Of the 2659 people surveyed, one in 10 also admitted to getting caught in the act by a colleague or boss; to varying results. Do you think it’s acceptable to job hunt in the office or should it be a sacking offence? Discuss.

Computer peek picture from Shutterstock

If OneShift’s data is to be believed, it would seem that more and more Aussie workers are comfortable searching for new job opportunities on their work computers. This is odd when you consider that online activity is tracked in many workplaces. Are these people stupid or totally desperate?

“You’d think getting caught would be a fairly strong disincentive, but apparently not,” says OneShift CEO Gen George. “More than half of the people we asked openly admitted to looking for work on their bosses watch. To me, this suggests job-hunting while at work is becoming common practice.”

According to George, ready access to online job sites, fading company loyalties and a workplace acceptance towards personal browsing have all helped to exacerbate the trend.

“People no longer wait until the weekend to scan the employment section of the newspaper, circling jobs of interest with a big red marker. Job hunting is an activity you can now do at your own convenience — and clearly there are plenty of Australians who find it convenient to do so during work hours.”

We want to hear what our readers thing of this practice. Is it ethically dubious to search for employment opportunities when you’re on paid company time? Or is it unrealistic to restrict job hunts to weekends and the evenings? Tell us what you think in the comments.


  • A company that systematically watches to see if employees are doing this is the kind of company no self-respecting person would want to work for – i.e. probably most employers.

    A really smart company might anonymously monitor – that is without looking at specific names – to check on the health of morale in a department. I bet not one in 100 would be clever enough to do this in a non-creepy way.

  • If I were a boss, I’d be unhappy. The word “theft” comes to mind.

    If I were a co-worker I’d be unhappy. All the team have a job to do, if one’s slacking off, for whatever reason, the others will have to take up the slack. If you’re not prepared to do the work that you’re being paid to do then bugger off so that someone who is prepared to work for their pay can have the job.

  • Other than “stupid” and “totally desperate”, I would also add “vain” to the list of possible characteristics of people who openly search for jobs at work. I’ve worked with people who won’t shut up about how much they are in demand and hoping the boss overhears about all the job offers(often bogus) being thrown their way. They really believe the boss is going to beg them to stay and offer them a pay rise. Anyway, it hasn’t happened, lol. If you’re going to leave, then just leave! Don’t brag unless you can back it up.

  • The only reason I’ve ever searched for a job at work was when I was looking for an intra-company transfer in a company where they wanted you to move around every few years. Other than that, no, I wouldn’t do it. It’s bad enough I look at my share of Grumpy Cat pictures and gmail. There’s such a thing as poking a sleeping dragon a bit too hard.

  • I get daily emails from seek – and I’ve opened a few up to see whats on offer.

    I don’t really care what people thing. I don’t actively search, but I do see an interesting role every now and then in my email. To be honest, the sydney office leader at my company (fortune 500 engineering firm) said in our intro that “we know you won’t be here forever, but if we can both benefit from you being here then it should be a good experience”. So they know whats up.

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