More than one quarter of UK workers have previously faked illness to an employer in order to stay home and wait for the delivery of an online purchase, according to new research conducted on behalf of a UK affiliate network.

The team at affilinet ( commissioned the research in a bid to uncover British consumer’s attitudes towards online shopping and the flexibility of delivery companies in the UK. A total of 2,489 homeowners aged 21 and over were polled, all of whom were currently in full-time employment and had worked in an office based role for at least the past 12 months.

All respondents were initially asked how often they made online purchases that needed delivering to their home address (i.e. larger items or ones that required installation from experts), with the average answer emerging as ‘6 times per year’. When asked to look back at the most recent deliveries to their home and state whether evening or weekend deliveries were available, just over half (52%) revealed that this was available at no extra cost, with a further 23% stating it was available, but with an extra cost incurred.

Next, all participants were asked if they’d booked time off work during the past twelve months in order to wait at home for a delivery, with the vast majority (87%) revealing they had. When these respondents were asked to disclose how many days annual leave they’d sacrificed in order to be at home to accept a delivery, the average answer emerged as ‘3 days’.

In order to uncover the items that Britons are most likely to book time off work to wait for, all relevant participants were asked to think back over the past year and disclose what had been delivered during a weekday to their home, with the top five most common answers emerging as follows:

1.       Fridge / freezer – 27%

2.       Washing machine / tumble dryer – 22%

3.       Sofa/ couch – 15%

4.       Dining table set – 11%

5.       Bed – 8%

Finally, all respondents were asked if they’d ever faked illness to their boss in order to be at home for an important delivery, with just over 1 in 4 (26%) confessing that they’d done so. When asked to state the main reason for doing so, “not having any annual leave left” (66%) and “because I felt like it” (23%) emerged as the largest responses.

Peter Rowe, UK Managing Director of affilinet UK, said:

“When you move into a new home, or when an important piece of furniture or equipment needs replacing, it’s normal to want online orders delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible. Most people have around 4 weeks of holiday per year in the UK, and so using up 3 days to wait for such deliveries doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice, especially when many would no doubt rather lose a few days annual leave than waste an entire weekend bored at home for an extra financial cost!”