Clearswift Survey Shows Personal E-Mail Use Threatens Company Productivity

Clearswift, a leading provider of content security software for e-mail and the Internet surveyed 4,500 respondents in the U.S., UK and Germany. They found that nearly 40 percent of workers spend an hour or more each day e-mailing friends and relatives or swapping jokes and pictures via the company e-mail system during working hours. The rest spend about half an hour each day. Only one in ten claims never to make personal use of the company e-mail system. In a typical 100-person company the survey shows about 1,700 working days each year are lost to personal use of the company e-mail – the equivalent to 7 fulltime new staff. American workers were the worst offenders.

The article notes that personal misuse of the e-mail system is only one of many abuses, including loss of confidential information, grounds of personal harassment, spam and viruses. It calls for companies to set ground rules on Web and e-mail usage through clear policies that ensure that office productivity doesn’t suffer. Not surprisingly – given Clearswift’s product line – the article highly recommends e-mail and Web security software. It also suggests companies set unrestricted access times during agreed upon periods such as lunch hours or before or after working hours.

Source: Business Wire; Feb 15, 2005

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