by Martin Veitch

Optimistic/pessimistic CBI understates web surfing abuse

Jun 09, 20081 min
IT Leadership

The Confederation of British Industry apparently thinks that the average UK office worker spends 90 minutes a week on personal web surfing. Depends what you call average, I suppose. In environments that are not locked down and where computers are the main workplace tool it seems likely that 90 minutes would be a dramatic understatement.

But what are we counting here? The cricket devotee who leaves the scorecard on in the background and occasionally glances down at the taskbar for an update? The news junkie with the RSS feed from the BBC? The family organiser who books holidays, buys groceries and checks out schools online? Choose any of these and 90 minutes is pretty conservative.

What’s even more questionable is the cost (presumable calculated with we finger and following wind) that the CBI comes up with. A cost to the economy of $10.6bn a year? I should cocoa. Instead of measuring everything that moves to come up with a Daily Mail-friendly stat, the CBI should be thinking about the benefits of staff loyalty, trust in workers and the fact that you can’t treat the workforce like factory workers of Victorian times.