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Swedes surf away more of the work day

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Swedes surf away more of the work day
15:12 CEST+02:00
The personal web-surfing habits of Swedish workers are costing companies more and more money.

Four years ago, employees spent an average of two hours a week surfing the web for personal reasons on company time.

Now they fritter away an average of two hours a day.

The magazine Computer Sweden has had a web-analysis company take a closer look at how employees use the internet during working hours.

Bank and finance-related sites are popular, as are travel sites, and 90 to 95 percent of the time, such sites are visited for private use.

A company with 200 employees stands to lose up to 10 million kronor ($1.7 million) a year to workers' private surfing, according to Computer Sweden's calculations.

Nordea, with 10,000 people employed in Sweden and 35,000 in total, the issue is not yet considered a major problem.

“It's up to each manager within Nordea to set limits. We have general ethical and moral principles, such as no naked ladies, but it's OK to use the internet as a work tool and that varies between different departments,” said spokesperson Anders Edlund to the TT news agency.

But other companies and public agencies have implemented measures to reduce personal web surfing.

“We have a technical solution which blocks a frightfully high number of addresses and file sharing protocols. We think that it's important because people must think of us as s serious agency, but at the end of the day it wastes work time,” said Mikael Strålfors, head of IT with the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI).

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