The survey, conducted by R&T strategies, polled more than 4,000 wired
workers in 20 countries around the world to further examine evolving
behaviours towards recreational use of the Internet in the workplace. The
findings show that Canadian wired workers who participate in year-end gift
giving (62 per cent) will do up to one quarter of their holiday shopping
online. Of those who will shop online, 21 per cent will do so from their work
computer, up from 16 per cent last year. In the U.S., 34 per cent of
respondents said they will do most or some of their online holiday shopping at
work, up from 28 per cent in 2006.

The survey also shows unproductive Internet use at the office is growing
steadily across the globe, even outside the holiday period. When asked what
they would spend their time doing if their supervisor was out of the office,
25 per cent of Canadian respondents said they would likely surf around the
Internet for fun by visiting news, sports and gossip sites, compared to
38 per cent of respondents in the U.S. The number of wired workers who also
engage in unproductive Internet use at work increases significantly in Europe
(31 per cent), Asia (40 per cent) and South America (41 per cent).

“Many people go onto the Internet at work with a specific job in mind;
either checking their bank account, paying a utility bill, checking travel
details or doing some shopping. Others have no specific intention; they surf
the web to try and kill a few hours,” said Michael Murphy, Chair of the BSA
Committee in Canada. “However, this kind of activity that can lead to unsafe
Internet use, and in turn, expose a company’s network to serious security
threats including spyware, viruses as well as copyright infringement. Over the
holidays as well as throughout the year, companies need to continue educating
employees about the dangers of unauthorized Internet access and establish
policies regarding the proper use of company networks and computers.”