News, shopping sites top Internet use at work

Workers spend more than eight hours per week surfing sites not related to their jobs

If workers are forced to choose between coffee and a connection to the Internet, most would leave the Starbucks cup behind.

A new study shows workers spend upward of 20 per cent of their time at the office surfing the Web for reasons not related to work — or about 8.3 hours per week. The majority of them said they’d sooner give up coffee than their link to the Web.

The study, conducted by Websense Inc., a San Diego-based company that makes software to help monitor employee Internet use, shows news sites and shopping are the most popular distractions.

Some 24 per cent of workers surveyed considered shopping sites the most addictive Web content, 23 per cent for news, 18 per cent for pornography, eight per cent for gambling and six per cent for online auctions.

Other findings:

•67 per cent of workers said their employers allowed them to use office Internet connections to read news;

•37 per cent said employers allowed them to access shopping and auction sites; and

•Two per cent said employers allowed them to access pornography and gambling sites.

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