Wealth Shift: The Decline of Ethics in America
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#3 - Personal Use of the Internet, Telephones, Cell Phones, Text Messaging and Other Technology While At Work

According to a compilation of data by LocalTel Business Content Web Filter, 64% of employees admit to using the internet for personal interest during working hours. The average employee uses the internet 2.09 hours a day for personal interests, with Gen X and Y using it 2.8 hours a day and Baby Boomers 49 minutes.

60% of all online purchase, 45% of all travel arrangements, and 70% of all pornography traffic occurs during the hours from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. One-third of all workers surveyed surf the web constantly during work hours, -returning e-mails, IMs, and chatting in a constant, streaming format. (In point of fact, 32% of all e-mails generated at work are personal in nature.)

62% of all workers download music and videos at work because of higher speed internet access, and 11% of workers play online games.

When asked what they think the impact of work-premises personal internet use has been and how they have dealt with it, 71% of the hiring managers surveyed said internet use at work for non-work related activities was having a significant negative impact on productivity. When asked to quantify the loss of productivity in terms of percentages, most estimate the loss at 30-40% of an employee’s compensation. Half of employers surveyed said they monitor employees’ online activity – 23% monitor both time spent online and content, 19% just monitor content, and 8% just monitor time spent.

Despite these statistics, only one-in-five employers (18%) said they had fired an employee for using the internet for non-work-related activities. More than one-third (35%) of organizations monitor employee emails, yet only 7% said they have fired employees for sending non-work related email. In other words, despite the high cost to companies of personal internet use at the office, almost nothing is being done to stop it.

Text messaging and twittering has begun to replace phone calls as the best (and most surreptitious) way that employees have found to keep up with their social lives at work. Younger workers are particularly adept at texting. It’s sort of refreshing how time-economical texting is, since texting actually decreases the amount of time it takes to have a conversation. After all, a text message that says “kcul8r” takes far less time than “BrrRing BrrRing…blah….blah….. blah, blah, blah, blah……….”

Or maybe not. What rabid texters save in terms of time spent on individual messaging they more than make up for by the sheer volume of text messages they are capable of ginning out. People with scads of friends can send up to a thousand text messages in a single day. While at the present time there has been no official world record set, there is one documented case of a man in India who sent 182,689 text messages in one month. People are texting so much that there have even been reports of people texting in the sleep. Now, if we could get them to do some work in their sleep….ROFLMAO

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