Vital statistics.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development announced last week that the new economy might not actually be responsible for economic growth in Europe. Although new media definitely helped growth in the US and Nordic countries, the Paris-based think-tank says that there is little or no hard evidence that this is the case in Western Europe.

Meanwhile, a new study presented at the IQPC Online Market Research conference in London shows that there is one simple way in which the web is actually hampering, rather than assisting, productivity in Europe and the rest of the world. Market researcher Pro Active asked its respondents about the type of use they put web browsers to from a variety of locations - home, office and educational. It found around 20 per cent of respondents admitted to using work accounts for personal activities and a further 10 per cent used their work accounts for educational reasons.

This is sometimes called time-theft and is a serious problem for the Human Resources departments.

Although the research does not distinguish the precise time of day that the staff use their computers for personal reasons, it is unlikely to be confined to break times. The fact that more than 10 per cent also use their home account for work is little consolation to the personnel manager charged with ensuring that time at work is spent working.

Although it is a problem for employers, unauthorised web usage is a major opportunity for advertisers, since a clear picture of the extent that work-related sites can be used to carry personal advertising, and vice versa, makes media buying more effective.

A residential property site, for example, might find it cost-effective to use a technical programming site to advertise its service, knowing that at lunchtimes and after work it will get a rush of activity from programmers looking to move.

The educational sector reveals a similar pattern. Here, the concern is that more than 10 per cent of respondents admit to working via academic terminals. This is in breach of the academic internet usage guidelines, which insist that the academic network should not be used for profit.

The pan-European survey found revealing differences in the degree of sophistication in web usage. About half of all users change their default start page, but only 16 per cent change their cookie preferences, showing that the cookie is a reliable method of tracking behaviour without having to seek permission.



Nick Rosen is a director of The Online Research Agency.

email: nick@online-agency. com or tel: 0797 1543703.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development announced last week that the new economy might not actually be responsible for economic growth in Europe. Although new media definitely helped growth in the US and Nordic countries, the Paris-based think-tank says that there is little or no hard evidence that this is the case in Western Europe.

Meanwhile, a new study presented at the IQPC Online Market Research conference in London shows that there is one simple way in which the web is actually hampering, rather than assisting, productivity in Europe and the rest of the world. Market researcher Pro Active asked its respondents about the type of use they put web browsers to from a variety of locations - home, office and educational. It found around 20 per cent of respondents admitted to using work accounts for personal activities and a further 10 per cent used their work accounts for educational reasons.

This is sometimes called time-theft and is a serious problem for the Human Resources departments.

Although the research does not distinguish the precise time of day that the staff use their computers for personal reasons, it is unlikely to be confined to break times. The fact that more than 10 per cent also use their home account for work is little consolation to the personnel manager charged with ensuring that time at work is spent working.

Although it is a problem for employers, unauthorised web usage is a major opportunity for advertisers, since a clear picture of the extent that work-related sites can be used to carry personal advertising, and vice versa, makes media buying more effective.

A residential property site, for example, might find it cost-effective to use a technical programming site to advertise its service, knowing that at lunchtimes and after work it will get a rush of activity from programmers looking to move.

The educational sector reveals a similar pattern. Here, the concern is that more than 10 per cent of respondents admit to working via academic terminals. This is in breach of the academic internet usage guidelines, which insist that the academic network should not be used for profit.

The pan-European survey found revealing differences in the degree of sophistication in web usage. About half of all users change their default start page, but only 16 per cent change their cookie preferences, showing that the cookie is a reliable method of tracking behaviour without having to seek permission.



Nick Rosen is a director of The Online Research Agency.

email: nick@online-agency. com or tel: 0797 1543703.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £78 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content