IT Workers Don't Fret about Personal Chores

October 15, 2008 ( - Three quarters (76.1%) of IT professionals in the UK spend work time on personal chores and do not feel bad about it, a new survey found.

A news release about the poll sponsored by The IT Job Board found the U.K. figure compares with 75.9% in Belgium and 81.6% in The Netherlands.

About half of those polled in all three countries said they made personal phone calls, while 61.4% of IT professionals in the UK, 63% in Belgium, and 53.7% in The Netherlands sent non-work e-mails.

However, it appears that the British are least sociable when it comes to face-to-face contact at work. In Belgium, 80.2% of IT professionals chat with colleagues during work hours. This figure is 72.1% in The Netherlands, but only 59% in the UK.

Some 79.3% of people in the UK, 88% of people in Belgium, and 92.5% in The Netherlands spend up to 30 minutes per day surfing the Internet for personal reasons. But at least two thirds (60.4% in the UK, 71.1% in Belgium, and 66% in The Netherlands) agreed that companies should be able to selectively block Web access.

Finally, using Hotmail and Yahoo ranked higher in the survey than Facebook, suggesting employees spend more time on personal e-mail: In the UK 9.9% of respondents use Facebook, while a total of 39.9% use Hotmail and Yahoo. These figures are 4.8% and 49.4% respectively in Belgium and 2.7% and 40.1% in The Netherlands.

Asked about why they spend work time on personal tasks, 17.4% of people in the UK, 18.1% in Belgium, and 14.3% in The Netherlands said it was because they didn’t have enough work to do. However, almost one in ten (8.8%) of IT professionals in the UK reasoned that it was because they were underpaid. This fell to 7.2% in Belgium and 4.8% in The Netherlands.

The research was carried out in August 2008. It received 497 responses in the UK, 83 in Belgium and 147 in the Netherlands.