November 23, 2015

Half of Americans Use the Internet for Personal Reasons While at Work, Says Survey

EAGAN, Minn. – It’s a temptation too great for many people to resist – using the Internet to check your Facebook page, watch those cat videos or check on your Fantasy League while you’re at work. A new survey from, the most popular legal information website, says about half of us are surfing the Internet when we should be working.

Fifty percent of adult Americans admit using the Internet for personal use while at work. Email and social media are the biggest culprits. Here are the top personal uses of the Internet while at work:

Personal email






Online shopping


YouTube or other videos




Other social media


Online dating





Boredom or avoiding work is the number one excuse that people gave, while others blame a poor Internet connection at home.

Bored/avoiding work  


Didn’t want to wait until after work


Better Internet connection at work


Not enough time at home


No Internet at home


Wanted to hide activity from family



“While employees are entitled to some privacy at work, it’s important to remember that your workspace and your computer belong to your employer,” said Tanya Roth, an attorney and editor with “So your employer is generally entitled to monitor your use of their computers. In addition, any activity that is judged to be interfering with or distracting an employee from their duties may not be looked upon favorably. So employees should be mindful of any company rules on use of computers and the Internet.”

Free information on employment law and workers’ rights can be found on websites such as FindLaw’s Employment Law section ( 

The FindLaw survey was conducted using a survey of a demographically balanced sample of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.

Note to editors: Full survey results and analysis are available upon request.

FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of business development solutions for small law firms. Through its team of legal marketing experts, FindLaw drives the industry by delivering a comprehensive portfolio of proven online and offline marketing solutions designed to connect law firms with targeted prospective clients. FindLaw is also home to the largest online directory of lawyers and (, the most popular legal website with more than eight million people visiting each month for free information about a legal topic, to solve a legal problem or to find a lawyer.

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