Should you stop staff getting their parcels delivered to work?

  • HR Policies Documentation
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Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

It’s nearly Christmas. Which means a certain someone’s preparing to drop off countless packages by December 25th—often to people who’ve no care for cost or logistics.

No, not him.

I’m talking, of course, about whoever handles your staff’s personal deliveries.  

Studies suggest that employee parcels could make up two-thirds of your company’s post. But sorting these deliveries takes a long time, and can wreck productivity at one of the busiest periods of the year. 

You don’t want your workplace to become an Amazon depot. But you don’t want to be a Scrooge, either. So should you crack down on personal packages? Let’s find out…

The problems with staff deliveries

Your main worry is resources.

Employees who hand out parcels have less time to focus on their job, while the promise of on-site deliveries might tempt staff to waste their work hours online shopping. 

Both scenarios hurt company output and profits. And what about security issues?

The Postal Services Act 2000 says it’s against the law to open post that’s not addressed to you. So it’s tough to stop any dangerous or illegal items entering your company. And then there are liability concerns…

If the item is damaged or goes missing on its journey through your workplace, who’s responsible? The worker who signed for the package? The employee who ordered it? You, the business owner? 

There are no laws on workplace deliveries, and it’s an area ripe for conflicts between staff and bosses. So it may just be easier to enforce a blanket ban.

Or is it?

How deliveries can help your business

At Christmas, workplace deliveries can be a great perk for staff struggling to find the time to buy presents. And it brings big benefits to you, too.

“There’s a strong link between workers’ happiness and productivity,” says Andrew Oswald, economics professor at Warwick University. “Giving workers small freedoms makes a big difference to job satisfaction, and parcels are a prime example.”

And as for those workers tempted to ‘pull a sickie’ to go gift shopping? With workplace deliveries, they won’t need to.

It’s clear that employee deliveries bring pros and cons. So how can you find the right approach for your business?

Delivery policy in three simple steps

1. Check how much personal mail you get

Roughly work out how much personal mail comes into your business and how long it takes to give out.

2. Write a delivery policy

If the deliveries are affecting productivity, put together a policy that limits them or bans them entirely.

3. Justify the new rules

Staff will be more open to the changes if you explain your reasons behind them, like the cost to the business.

But make sure you let them know about other delivery methods, like in-store collections, so they can still get parcels in time for Christmas.

Christmas comes but once a year…

…but your employees’ deliveries come all year round. So, to keep your productivity and staff morale high, it’s worth getting expert delivery policy guidance. Call Peninsula’s HR team today for free advice on 0800 028 2420

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