8 out of 10 Scots workers ‘carry out life admin on work time’

81 per cent of Scots employees carry out life admin on work time. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
81 per cent of Scots employees carry out life admin on work time. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
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Eight in ten Scottish employees (81%) spend time on “life admin” such as paying bills and booking hair appointments at work, new research has found.

Workers spend 24 minutes carrying out such tasks during work time each week and 16 minutes a day on their lunch break, according to research by Altodigital.

More than a quarter (28%) of Scots admitted looking for and applying for other jobs on work time, while 29% looked for houses and cars to buy or rent.

Just over half (51%) visited their doctor during the working day while the same percentage organised finances.

More than a third (35%) of the 850 Scots questioned had booked health or beauty appointments on work time.

However many were unaware of the security dangers of carrying out such tasks on work computers, such as hacking via email and other staff having access to their device.

Jas Sura, Security team lead at Altodigital, said: “Although it may seem like simply ordering a new outfit for the weekend and quickly transferring some money to a friend is a quick and easy task, it may introduce problems further down the line.

“Site login and bank details may be stored automatically onto your device, meaning that if other staff members have access to it, or you leave your laptop unlocked while you are away from your desk, it could be a confidentiality disaster waiting to happen.

“The explosion in growth of cyber hacking, in both capability and frequency, has caught short businesses of all sizes because it is so easy to do at a basic level. Hacking methods are becoming more and more sophisticated, at times capable of fooling more tech-savvy individuals.

“Our recent research revealed that 18% of UK SMEs have been hacked in the last 12 months, with sophisticated email phishing the most common form of hacking. As technology progresses, it’s really important that businesses make steps towards improving their business security - whether that be regularly changing passwords to be more secure, using encryption, having a managed firewall, or making regular backups.”

Almost four in 10 (38%) of those questioned said they did not believe there were any security risks whatsoever involved in putting personal data on work computers and mobiles, or even on their own equipment whilst connected to a work network.

More than a third (37%) said they have sensitive and confidential details automatically saved onto their computers at work.

Office technology provider Altodigital said that undertaking life admin tasks at work could also prove problematic when complying with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation legislation.

It said that as soon as personal information is inputted and stored in a company’s system, the company is then instantly responsible for the security of the data, and firms could risk breaching the new rules whether they know it or not.