A quarter of U.S. workers who use a computer admit using it to hunt for a new job on company time, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
Among workers who believe their Internet use is monitored by their bosses, one-quarter use their work computer for job-hunting, according to research conducted for professional staffing company Hudson Highland Group Inc.
"It’s one of the ways employees deal with work-life balance issues," said Robert Morgan, chief operating officer at Hudson Talent Management, one of the company’s divisions. "Because we’re spending so much time at work, that’s the only time we have to schedule some of those appointments."
One-third of workers who think their managers are unaware of their personal Web surfing use their work computer to find a new job, according to the study.
Half of the workers surveyed said their companies monitor their computer use, while three-quarters said they believe their bosses know how much they use the Internet for nonwork activities.
Job-hunters may not be overly concerned about what their bosses know, Morgan said.
"Once they’ve made that decision to make a job change, they’re probably less concerned about their current employer finding out," he said.
"What employers really need to focus their efforts on is why are people looking for a job, versus trying to get them to stop them from looking for it at work."
Among managers, 24 percent admitted to job-hunting on their work computer, the survey showed. Among nonmanagers, the figure was 23 percent.
More than two-thirds of workers said they spend "hardly any" time on personal e-mails, surfing the Web, in chat rooms or blogging in a typical work day, it said.
One percent said they spend more than two hours a day at work on such activities, it said.
The research was based on a nationwide poll of 2,694 workers conducted March 11-13. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percent.