Businesses ban deliveries of employees’ online orders

Discussion
Aug 26, 2015

Several British headlines recently announced employers’ bans on workplace deliveries. Initially, it seemed an obvious solution. Online shoppers who couldn’t be home for delivery received parcels at work. The unintended consequence was the cost of receiving and processing non-business related deliveries, which made employers unhappy.

Several people were quoted claiming 30 to 40 percent of parcels received in London offices are personal with a 20 percent increase on the previous year. One even maintained 80 percent of parcels in their mailroom last Christmas were personal.

Workplace deliveries are so far apparently preferred by many to other emerging options—click and collect, lockers, convenience store or train station pick-up points. Time, and flexibility, may eventually weight in these emerging options favor. Collection points generally keep longer hours than offices. Drop-off locations can be closer to home.

There is little information on the way deliveries split between workplace, home and collection points. Yet Sophie McCarthy, retail analyst at Conlumino, assured RetailWire that workplace deliveries are increasing. The reasons, she believes, include not having to wait whether collecting from a third-party or a courier to your own door.

FedEx delivery

Photo: FedEx newsroom

By all indications, bans of personal deliveries at U.S. work offices are still rare. As alternatives become easier and employers harsher as e-commerce continues to expand, the days of workplace deliveries could be numbered.

Do you see American businesses cracking down on personal deliveries in offices? To what degree would any workplace-delivery ban impact e-commerce’s growth prospects?

Braintrust
"Let’s hope American companies do not follow the lead of their British counterparts. I know too many people who have had packages stolen from their doorsteps."
"The negative impact on employee morale from such a ban is likely to be much more costly than the cost of accepting the deliveries. Make the recipient come to the mailroom to pick it up instead of delivering it."
"Good luck with that. If companies want to retain high-quality employees, they’ll join the 21st century and take on the "burden" of processing packages."

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14 Comments on "Businesses ban deliveries of employees’ online orders"

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Max Goldberg
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

Let’s hope American companies do not follow the lead of their British counterparts. I know too many people who have had packages stolen from their doorsteps.

Dr. Stephen Needel
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

The negative impact on employee morale from such a ban is likely to be much more costly than the cost of accepting the deliveries. Make the recipient come to the mailroom to pick it up instead of delivering it.

Ed Dunn
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

This information indicates to me that empty office spaces in corporate parks and downtown areas appear to be better candidates for Amazon lockers than c-stores.

Herb Sorensen
Guest
2 years 3 months ago
Let’s look at the flip side of this intrusion of the personal domain on the business domain. It is not just mechanics, and the policies that need to take a more holistic approach, recognizing that in this day and age the office frequently intrudes on your personal space. Notably this is through email or texts, whether coming in by desktop or mobile device. It’s an intrusion for sure, whether welcome of not. Then, as to receiving at the office, besides personal electronic messages or other physical mail — letters, etc, there are potential packages of all kinds. Some not readily distinguishable… Read more »
Cathy Hotka
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

Good luck with that. If companies want to retain high-quality employees, they’ll join the 21st century and take on the “burden” of processing packages.

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

Well, this definitely adds to the cost of doing business for the employer. So perhaps there are potential solutions that the merchant in partnership with the logistics providers can do to decrease or eliminate this expense. Perhaps more “holding” locations or something like that?

Tim Smith
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

Yes, we have already had to remind people that our administrative assistants who support total office are not to handle their in/out personal packages. Some days their desks look like Amazon depots.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

If the ban on workplace delivery became widespread it would then become a benefit to those companies that were still willing to allow employees to receive packages at work. As an employer I would want to figure out a way that would allow employees to receive packages at work in the most cost-effective way possible rather than ban the practice.

Banning package delivery at work may not be a reason someone would not come to work for your firm or leave it, but it would become an irritant that would lower work commitment.

Gajendra Ratnavel
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

If this does happen, it will probably quickly turn into an HR perk in companies that allow it. Receiving personal deliveries at work is so convenient.

Mark Burr
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

I can’t even understand this being an issue, although it apparently is one for the Brits. I can’t imagine having a personal purchase shipped to my workplace. Then again, I may be rare.

Would it hurt e-commerce? Nope. It’s wave hasn’t even come close to a crest and that point is nowhere in sight.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

Poorly-run companies—i.e. those whose HR depts. have too much time on their hands to come up with silly policies—will act accordingly, while the rest will deal with this issue (or non-issue) on a case-by-case basis. The effect on e-commerce will be small.

Lee Kent
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

For companies already processing mail for their employees, I can not see this as a major issue except perhaps during the holidays. Individual offices should review options and find what will work best for them.

But that’s just my 2 cents.

Brian Numainville
Guest
2 years 3 months ago
Herb makes a great point. I was recently in a store taking a photo and the store manager thunders around the corner and demands to know who I am and why I am taking a picture in his store. I was advised if I didn’t stop I would be kicked out of the store. Now keep in mind, I was casually dressed and buying several items so it wasn’t like I was “suited up” and a competitive threat. I wanted to ask him if he ever heard of social media. Hard and fast policies like this are not going to… Read more »
Shep Hyken
Guest
2 years 3 months ago

Some companies let you bring your dog to work. So, allowing packages to be delivered seems like an easy choice. Here is the way I see it. If it has always been a stated policy to keep personal package delivery away from the office, fine. If you’re changing the policy, you may have a morale issue. Furthermore, is the problem all packages, or are some of the employees abusing the system? I’m always cautious to make decisions that punish the larger group of customers (and employees) because of the “sins” of just a few.

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Braintrust
"Let’s hope American companies do not follow the lead of their British counterparts. I know too many people who have had packages stolen from their doorsteps."
"The negative impact on employee morale from such a ban is likely to be much more costly than the cost of accepting the deliveries. Make the recipient come to the mailroom to pick it up instead of delivering it."
"Good luck with that. If companies want to retain high-quality employees, they’ll join the 21st century and take on the "burden" of processing packages."

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