Office staff surf net six hours a week

OFFICE workers spend the equivalent of almost one day a week surfing the internet at work - with newspaper websites, online shops and computer games among the main distractions.

Rather than take a traditional tea break, workers are taking internet breaks - dubbed "i-breaks" - which last an average of six hours and 23 minutes every week.

But far from affecting their work, two-thirds of those polled believe their i-breaks leave them feeling more refreshed and better able to cope with their jobs.

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John Miles, of, which conducted a poll of 3,000 office workers, said: "Brits are working longer hours than ever before, certainly longer than the rest of Europe, so this means they have less time to do things at home.

"While we can't really excuse people using work computers to play computer games, it is understandable that things like online banking, shopping around for deals and food shopping sometimes have to be conducted during the day."

The poll shows workers log onto news websites for two hours and five minutes every week.

They also spend an hour and a quarter each week chatting on social networking sites.