Web surfing 'as addictive as
Surfing the Web at work is an increasingly common
habit that could be even more addictive than coffee, according to new
research into Internet usage in the office.
According to the survey, 93 percent of all employees in the U.S. spend
at least some of their time at work accessing the Web, up from 86 percent
a year ago, and many of them are logging on for personal reasons.
Among those, 52 percent said they would rather give up their morning
caffeine hit than lose their Internet connection.
The average time spent accessing the Internet at work was 12.6 hours
per week. But while employees estimated that 3.4 hours of that time was
due to non-work related surfing, IT managers put that figure at closer to
"As the line between professional and personal usage of the Internet
becomes more of a gray area,
many employees have started to rely on it to complete their job duties as
well as perform personal tasks during the work day," said Geoff Haggart of
Internet firm Websense, which conducted the survey.
The most popular Web sites accessed were news sites (81 percent),
personal email (61 percent), online banking (58 percent), travel (56
percent) and shopping (52 percent).
More men than women -- 62 percent compared with 54 percent -- admitted
visiting non-work related Web sites at the office.
Men were 2.3 times more likely to visit sports sites and more than
three times as likely to visit investment and stock purchasing sites.
Almost a quarter of men also admitted visiting a porn site at work,
although only 17 percent said they had done so deliberately.
As well as surfing the Internet, 18 percent of workers said they
listened to or watched streaming media and 16 percent said they used
instant messaging, although
two-thirds of companies said IM usage wasn't sanctioned.
But while Internet use may be on the rise, it appears that companies
have got wise to employees
using their office hours to play computer games.
Just six percent of workers owned up
to playing games, down from 14 percent a year ago.