A nationwide study by T-Mobile UK has revealed that over a quarter of the UK's workforce, still deprived of web access, are now turning to the Internet on their mobile - as employers enforce blanket bans on net usage.
The study of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by T-Mobile and compiled by YouGov, examined how consumer habits were affected by lack of Internet access. The findings uncovered a seemingly strict attitude towards using the Internet at work:
- 23% of employees were subject to company policies that banned them from accessing social networking websites
- 11% were banned from using web-based email
- were not even allowed to use Google
Nearly half of the employees surveyed (48%) use their mobile phone to access the Internet at work; from downloading music to buying groceries online, with further research illustrating that 15% of users resorting to hiding in the toilet just to get online.
In response to the findings, T-Mobile is running a 'Set the Internet Free' campaign - encouraging customers to go into any of T-Mobile's 250 UK retail outlets and try out its web'n'walk service for free and to try the sites that matter to them.
Further findings showed that 25% of consumers were aware that they had an Internet service on their phone, but were unsure how to use it, suggesting that there is a need to educate customers on how to take best advantage of the mobile Internet when they need it most.
Richard Warmsley Head of Internet on the Move at T-Mobile says: "T-Mobile believes everyone has the right to access the web - even at work. In today's broadband era, customers want the full Internet wherever they are, at any time and browse whatever websites they choose.?
Leading social guru Jenni Trent Hughes says: "While the management of office productivity is imperative, cutting off the Internet in its entirety stops employees from using the tools that could help them work more effectively ? from search engines and newswires to key industry blogs and even social networking sites, which are becoming increasingly important tools for young professionals."
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