Executives well aware of employees’ personal Internet use

More than half of companies surveyed closely monitor employee Internet activity

Many employees think they’re being sly when they send personal e-mails or look up the latest celebrity gossip online when they’re supposed to be working, but the majority of executives are well aware of these illicit Internet activities, according to a new survey.

The survey, developed by Canadian temporary staffing company Accountemps, found that 70 per cent of executives surveyed said their organizations closely monitor employee Internet activity.

“Many people are unaware that a permanent record exists of their Internet and e-mail use at work,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “Most organizations actively monitor web use by employees to ensure it complies with established corporate policy.”

The poll included responses from 100 senior Canadian executives in various departments including human resources, finance and marketing. Those polled also said they believe that employees spend an average of 40 minutes each work day on non-business-related e-mail, instant messaging and Internet use.

Messmer suggested that staff should familiarize themselves with company guidelines for Internet and e-mail use in order to avoid any disciplinary action.

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