The Internet is a useful business tool that is increasingly being made available to employees to enhance their work productivity. Recent reports in the popular literature, however, suggest that the Internet may well be a doubleedged sword that companies should use with caution, since the ease and convenience with which the Internet may be accessed at the workplace lends the potential for it to be abused by employees. This study thus examined the extent to which Internet abuse – termed ‘cyberloafing’ – occurs at the workplace in Singapore. We define cyberloafing as the act of employees using their companies’ Internet access during office hours to surf nonwork related Web sites and to check personal email.
Data were collected, using an electronic questionnaire posted on the Internet, from 188 working adults with access to the Internet at their workplace. Results of our study suggest that employees do cyberloaf while at work by surfing non-work related Web sites and checking personal email. Findings further suggest that respondents feel justified in using their companies’ Internet access for personal purposes when they have been treated unfairly, or when they feel that they have expended extra effort to fulfil their job duties. Majority of respondents in our study either worked in organizations where there were no policies regulating workplace Internet usage or were unaware of the existence of such policies. Implications of our findings for organizations are discussed.
Lim, Vivien K.G.; Teo, Thompson S.H.; and Loo, Geok Leng, "The IT Way of Idling on the Job: A Preliminary Study of Cyberloafing" (2001). ICEB 2001 Proceedings (Hong Kong, SAR China). 131.