Nearly three quarters of UK workplaces (74%) restrict their employees’ access to the Internet, according to a recent survey by office design company Maris Interiors. 71% of offices surveyed have a filter for pornographic websites, with 52% of employees unable to access social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook and 48% of employees unable to access their personal e-mail.
YouTube was blocked by 30% of employers and news websites by 27%. 9% of offices only allow access to certain specific sites and 4% only allow staff to use the company’s intranet – not even allowing search engines such as Google.
Of those employees who have restrictions in their Internet access 30% claim they say this makes their job more difficult – and 82% say it makes their job more boring! Only 6% of employees surveyed said that they actually think it helps with their productivity at work.
Maris Interiors Chairman, Michael Howard said: “It’s a difficult decision about blocking websites in the workplace, by doing so you have to balance employees’ productivity against their morale. At our company we block access to pornographic sites – hopefully this doesn’t affect their morale too much!”
260 people participated in the survey, conducted in March 2011.
Summary of percentage of employees, by restrictions:
- Any restrictions – 74%
- Pornographic sites – 71%
- Social networking sites – 52%
- Personal e-mail – 48%
- eBay – 48%
- Gaming websites – 44%
- Online dating – 41%
- YouTube – 30%
- Specific list of allowed sites – 9%
- Intranet only – 4%