SOURCE: SpectorSoft


May 23, 2013 08:00 ET

Survey Reveals Employees Not Concerned About Privacy on the Job; 91 Percent Accept and Welcome Computer Monitoring During Work Hours

SpectorSoft Reveals Employee Personal Computer Use Will Cost Some Businesses More Than $38.5 Million Annually in Lost Productivity

VERO BEACH, FL--(Marketwired - May 23, 2013) - SpectorSoft, the leader in employee monitoring solutions, today revealed results of its Non-Private Lives of American Employees survey, detailing how 91 percent of employees accept and in some cases even welcome having their computer activities and behaviors monitored by their employers during work hours. SpectorSoft conducted the survey in Q4 2012, polling 300 respondents who were 18 and over and employed full time. Respondents worked in a broad range of industries in organizations of all types and sizes.

"This survey reveals that businesses desiring to strengthen security, improve efficiency and stop bleeding millions in lost productivity need to find ways to control employees' use of corporate computing resources during work hours," said Nick Cavalancia, vice president at SpectorSoft. "The fact that employees' attitudes are changing when it comes to privacy has provided organizations with an open window to start implementing monitoring programs that ensure employees aren't taking advantage of acceptable computer-use policies or engaging in behaviors that put data and efficiency at risk."

In addition to revealing changing attitudes among U.S. employees when it comes to privacy and the workplace, the survey also showed that employees' non-work-related computer activities are costing businesses millions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Fifty-nine percent of respondents engage in personal activities on computers while at work, admitting that they spend an average of 2.75 hours per week doing so. This means that employees are spending 137.5 hours per year (assuming a 50-week work year) engaged in personal activities on company computers. These numbers reveal staggering conclusions:

  • 100-employee businesses have productivity losses of 13,750 hours annually, equivalent to paying seven full time employees to do nothing all year (Tweet This)
  • 1,000-employee businesses have productivity losses of 137,500 hours annually, equivalent to paying 69 employees to do nothing all year (Tweet This)
  • 5,000-employee businesses have productivity losses of 687,500 hours annually, equivalent to paying 344 employees to do nothing all year (Tweet This)

These losses are shocking. A review of estimates out of the U.S. Census Bureau over the past several years shows that the approximate average wage of employees across nine educational levels (ranging from some high school to professional degree holders) could be as high as $28 per hour. When applying the 137.5 hours wasted per year per employee, companies with 10,000 employees stand to lose as much as $38,500,000 in productivity annually due to personal computer use during company time.

SpectorSoft has also produced an infographic showing the key findings from the survey available at Key findings include:

  • 75 percent of employees accept that employers may monitor their computer activities.
  • 16 percent of employees are "glad" their employers monitor their computer activities.
  • 9 percent of employees were "mad" about being monitored during working hours.
  • 49 percent of employees said their employers monitored their computer activities.
  • 69 percent of employers that have Internet Acceptable Use Policies (IAUP) monitor employees.
  • 15 percent of employers that do not have IAUPs monitor employees' activities.

"The security vs. privacy argument has certainly heated up. Capitol Hill is in the thick of debating perceived anti-privacy clauses in the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, privacy rights advocates are calling for increased protections, and the mainstream media is clamoring to point a finger at big brother," said Cavalancia. "Our survey of 300 workers makes it clear that when it comes to the workplace, employers are free to move forward with monitoring solutions that will reduce risks as well as increase productivity."

About SpectorSoft
SpectorSoft is the leader in computer and mobile device Insider Threat Detection and Employee Investigation software. SpectorSoft has helped more than 36,000 businesses, government organizations, schools, and law enforcement agencies improve how they address security and achieve compliance across communication and computing OSs and devices. SpectorSoft solutions review security risk, audit compliance mandates, protect assets and reputation, ensure adherence to Acceptable Use Policies, and optimize productivity and efficiency. In addition, SpectorSoft has sold nearly 1 Million licenses to help parents and guardians keep children safe online. For more information, visit

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