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Singaporeans spend 45 minutes of work day to online shop and browse social media: Robert Half study

Zafirah Salim | Dec. 11, 2014
One in three companies now block access to non-work related sites.

Employees in Singapore have been abusing their company's internet bandwidth for a range of non-work related activities, according to a recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Half.

Polling over 200 Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, the survey revealed that Singapore employees spend an average of 9.3 percent of their time online shopping, looking up travel sites and keeping in touch with others through social media.

This figure amounts to nearly six minutes of every hour, or 45 minutes in an eight-hour work day spent online on personal activities; which is the lowest among its Asian counterparts.

Japan ranked the highest when it comes to engaging in online activities that are not related to work (14.61 percent), followed by Hong Kong (13.24 percent).

With regards to company size, employees in mid-sized firms (500 to 999 employees) spend the most time online doing non-work related activities at 12 percent on average, or 58 minutes a day.

Restricting access

According to the survey, IT departments in larger firms are much more likely to restrict their employee's internet access with more than half (56 percent) blocking access to shopping and social media sites.

Across the polled companies, 35 percent of the respondents said they block access, while another 52 percent simply monitor for excessive usage.

Stella Tang, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said employees spending time at work surfing the net is not as big a problem as it sounds.

"The time employees spend surfing at work seems high and many companies are moving to place restrictions on employee access to non-work related sites. However, an employee's personal activities need to be weighed against the contribution an employee makes to the company," she said.

"If an employee is performing above expectations, few employers will worry about them spending a bit of extra time getting their holiday sorted or buying a present for their family. Online activity is an entrenched part of our lives today and it is important for employees to stay connected, even when at work," added Tang.


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