Nearly a half of employees use social media and read news during work, a third even shops online

The introduction of computers and the internet into the work environment promised increased efficiency and higher work results, but people being people, they ended up counterbalancing that by doing all sorts of other things online. To find out what’s their favourite distraction, Safetica, the provider of employee monitoring software, commissioned a survey in Ireland, from Amárach Research, carried out among over 500 employees.

As it turns out, nearly a half of employees admit to using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter during work and reading news websites. Over a third do their online shopping at work and almost a quarter watch online videos or listen to online music.

If there’s anyone sympathising with male chauvinist views still around, they will not be too pleased with some of the additional findings. The demographic breakdown shows that younger males lead in bad habits in all categories, except reading news, where the older males are first. Females waste much less time online in all categories, except when it comes to shopping or watching funny pictures (of cats most likely), where they were only a few percentage points behind men, but still behind.

Another interesting find is that the higher social classes got as much as twice higher scores in most categories, except in accessing adult websites and not having any internet access. So while those better off prefer chatting with friends, staying on top of global news and shopping while they should be working, the working class men (as no females answered they visit adult sites) brighten their day by looking at scantily dressed ladies? Well, we wouldn’t necessarily offer this as a conclusion with any scientific merit, but stats are funny like that.

In either case, regardless of demographic peculiarities, employers and employees should ask themselves whether the workplace really is the right place for their private online activities and whether steps should be taken to change the currently measured situation in any way.

More info about Safetica at

Safetica is exhibiting at Infosecurity Europe 2013, the No. 1 industry event in Europe held on 23rd – 25th April 2013 at the prestigious venue of Earl’s Court, London. The event provides an unrivalled free education programme, exhibitors showcasing new and emerging technologies and offering practical and professional expertise. For further information please visit

Submitted by Dan Morgan on