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Internet cost UK companies billions in productivity

As information technology permeates the structures of companies around the world, so does broadband Internet access and the joys associated with it.

However, two separate reports highlight the pitfalls that ‘always on internet’ has had on UK businesses.

The 2006 Department of Trade and Industry's Information Security Breaches survey found out that staff misuse of net resources (and generally computers) ranks second behind viruses and malware in security incidents.

Staff misuse is more prevalent than one might think. Nearly a fifth of UK businesses surveyed found out that staff actually misused their web access with a number of those employees actually downloading pornography and in some cases, child pornography.

But companies, which offer internet access to their employees, can also lose money in wasted hours. Thomas Cook (opens in new tab) surveyed 2,000 office workers and they found out that the average employee spent more than twelve hours a week – equivalent to a whopping 75 days a year - emailing friends and surfing the net. This amounts to several billions of pounds lost in unproductive hours.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.