UK firms more likely to close Net to employees

Nearly half of staff in Europe
admit they spend more than three hours a week in the office surfing the Web for
personal use.

A survey of 800
employees in the UK, Italy, Germany and France, commissioned by Websense,
reveals that staff are using the Internet to book holidays, research hobbies,
monitor sports events and shop online.

The Web@Work Survey
2001 shows that employers in the UK are five times more likely to take
disciplinary action for inappropriate use of the Web than their Italian
counterparts and two-and-a-half times more likely to do so than those in France
or Germany.

Only a third of
employers in France have Internet access policies in place compared to the UK
where the figure was 67 per cent.

More than 80 per cent
of German and UK employees feel it is acceptable for employers to manage
Internet access, but only 61 per cent of French and 59 per cent of Italian
staff are happy to have their access controlled.

Holiday or travel
sites were the most frequently visited by those accessing non-work related
sites, with more than 50 per cent of respondents admitting they log on for this
purpose, followed by educational sites with 42 per cent, hobbies on 41 per cent
and shopping and sports sites at 28 and 27 per cent respectively.

Geoff Haggart,
vice-president of Websense in Europe, which specialises in Internet management
solutions, said, "The survey shows the Internet is clearly a valuable
business tool for employees, but at the same time it can be a distraction. It
also shows that companies need to strike a balance and be aware that employees
do not object to having their Internet access at work managed."

By Ben Willmott

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