Black Friday sales used to require standing in line and battling crowds. This year, there were $7.4 billion in online sales on Black Friday. Now that your employees are back at work, they are likely to continue shopping online. Last year's Cyber Monday brought $7.9 billion in sales, and that doesn't happen without people buying during the workday. It may drive you nuts, but here's a word of advice:

Let them.

Yes, it may be frustrating that you spot a website open on someone's computer or that everyone's talking about the best deals on the season's hottest toys. Forbes even recommends that you do your travel planning today for super deals. But, shopping on one day out of the year does not make a person a bad employee. Not shopping on Cyber Monday does not make someone a good employee.

Yes, if a customer is placed on hold while Jill compares Caribbean cruises, that's a bad thing. But, frankly, most of your customers are busy doing their own Cyber Monday shopping.

An employee shows her worth throughout the entire year. Someone who was a good employee for the past 11 months doesn't become a bad one today for snagging bargains of Amazon.

We talk a lot about employee engagement and the employee experience and sometimes get focused on the insignificant (snacks in the break room). But the trivial things become very significant if you start micro-managing them.

If you start hovering over your employees today, saying, "get back to work!" you'll create hard feelings over one day of shopping. If instead, you join in and then get yourself back to work, you set an example of how to behave--take a bit of time to do your own thing but get back to work. That's how leadership can look on Cyber Monday.

And if you haven't finished your gift shopping for your direct reports (not required, but a nice gesture), then now is as good as a time of any to get shopping. Or perhaps get started on that holiday party planning.

It should always be okay to slack off from time to time as long as it's not a daily problem. Your good employees are still good employees, but those deals out there need to be snatched before it's too late. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to plan my next vacation.

Published on: Dec 2, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.