Employees spend up to half the working day surfing the internet for personal use, says K3 Managed Services

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Around 14% of the UK workforce spend almost half of their time on the Internet for personal use, according to research published by networking and communications company K3 Managed Services.

The research found that on average, 64% of workers in the UK waste one hour a day at work, while 14% waste three hours a day: of this time 48% is spent surfing the internet for personal use.

K3 Managed Services suggests that employers need to establish a fair usage policy to eliminate time wasting and help to promote greater productivity.

It claims that an effective usage policy should clearly set out how employees are expected to use computers and the internet in their workplace. Security and licensing policies ensure that a business is not at risk from software piracy or a security breach.

Employers are responsible for employees use of unlicensed software whether they know about it or not and, if caught, have to pay a substantial fine. The amount employers can be fined for a data security breach was increased from £5,000 to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and with the possibility of huge fines, organisations can no longer afford to take risks.

Jason Price, head of sales at K3 Managed Services, said: "When we discuss the results of how their bandwidth is being used with our customers, many are shocked to see how much is taken up for personal use by employees.

"This poses a dilemma for managers as the internet and many social media websites are now an integral part of business operations. As digital channels continue to mature, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to place blanket bans and restrictions on Internet access."

Price added: "However, companies with a robust Internet Usage policy can effectively manage their staff time online, and also ensure that they stay on the right side of the law."

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