Falling Leaves: the Ardes blog

Business Hypocrisy and the “Cost of Personal Web Surfing”

Ray Drainville

This has been sitting on my desk for a number of months begging for a comment. I figured that, since the entire family is saddled down with a flu, this would be a great time to comment.

In August, Business Link Yorkshire published an article under “E-Commerce & Technology” entitled “The Cost of Personal Web Surfing”. In the article, the authors write:

The Confederation of Business Industry surveyed 503 organisations, which together employ over one million workers, to discover the level of personal web surfing during working hours.

Results showed that the average UK office worker spends an hour and a half of work time each week surfing the web. The cost to the economy is £10.6 billion a year.

Let’s look at that figure. That amounts to 18 minutes a day. Contrast that with the hours that many—if not most—workers spend, weekly, in unpaid overtime. I’ve not seen any reports relating to the deleterious effects those hours have upon one’s personal or family life. And I bet you haven’t, either.

If the Confederation of Business Industry wishes to pay for studies on the effect of business, that’s fine. But they should be less hypocritical in how much they gain from the typical working situation versus how much they lose.