Online shopping at work: what is allowed?

Online shopping is convenient, easy and much less stressful and time-saving compared to checkout queues. While working, just make an order? For many workers of course. But is that even allowed?

During my working hours, I ordered something from my company computer online. Do I have to expect consequences?

Here the employer has the right to give instructions and can decide whether the Internet and the computer can be used for private purposes. If the company has no clear rules on internet usage and the employee was allowed to surf the Internet privately for a longer period of time (at least six months) with a tacit tolerance of the employer or a person with a managerial function, it may be that a claim arises from company practice. Here, however, the individual case decides. If you violate existing rules of the employer, the employee must expect a warning. A termination can only be made after a warning.

Is online shopping allowed during lunch break? After all, this is not part of working hours ...

The design of the break is a private matter and is not subject to the employer's right to instruction. But also here: The private use of the Internet at the workplace is generally not allowed and the private use of the company PC must be approved by the employer.

Then I play it safe and do not use the company computer, but use my smartphone with mobile data. Can my employer still give me a warning?

For the employer, it is difficult to understand in what time frame the employee uses his smartphone for personal purposes. In principle, the private use of the smartphone violates the contractual obligations, which is why it is advised to limit these as much as possible. In the event of repeated misconduct, the employer may issue a warning, which may lead to a termination.

Can I have a private package delivered to my company address?

This decision varies from company to company. According to the Industrial Code, the employer has the right to give instructions and can, therefore, decide whether to allow the delivery of private packages to the company address. It should not be forgotten that parcel picking obstructs work processes that can be very significant depending on the size of the company. It is advisable to ask before ordering if the delivery may even be approved in exceptional cases.

Suppose delivery is approved: Are my colleagues required to accept my private orders?

Basically, there is no obligation to take the package for someone else. If the consignment is accepted, the person must, of course, hand it over to the consignee. Should the colleague have to pay in advance, because it is an order by cash on delivery, the consignment must be issued only when the recipient has paid the sum.