The average UK employee is costing their employer £893 per year as they turn to the internet during working hours to stay on top of their finances and manage their day-to-day lives.
Research commissioned by BT Home Computing has revealed that this growing trend represents a loss of well over one working week per year, per employee, and that UK companies are paying the price in wages and lost potential profits.
The research, conducted among companies with more than 1,000 employees, suggests that employers are underestimating the scale of the issue, with at least a quarter of those questioned believing that their employees spent no time at all online during the working day.
Becky Mason, people networks manager at BT Group said: “For many of our people, as is the case for a growing majority of the population, internet access is essential for managing their day-to-day lives.
More than a third of employees said having a home computer would cut the amount of time they spend on the internet during the working day. However, many UK businesses are still to take advantage of the government-backed Home Computing Initiative (HCI), which allows for the provision of tax-free computing equipment for home use as part of employee benefit packages.