Homework, bingo, and movies: Employees reveal bad 'remote work' habits

For HR leaders, it's time to start cracking down on unethical practices

Homework, bingo, and movies: Employees reveal bad 'remote work' habits

The emergence of remote work saw companies around the world giving staff members their own work gadget so they can set up their personal workspaces inside the comfort of their own homes. But with isolation in play and lack of supervision from managers, it appears that some employees have become too comfortable and took things a little too far in their own workspaces.

A recent survey from IT support company Totality Services revealed that five per cent of the surveyed 2,000 employees are using their work devices for watching porn, with another five percent using it for gambling. The survey said that those who admitted to using their employer-supplied device to watch adult content do so for two to four hours in their workday, Wales Online reported, with 20% admitting that they watch for four to eight hours a day.

For those who gamble with their work devices, 75% of them admitted that they do it for four hours a day, added the Wales Online report which cited the study.

Other activities that employees use their work devices for are the following:

  • Browsing social media (17%)
  • Instant messaging friends (15%)
  • Online shopping (11%)
  • Browsing online media (11%)
  • Doing kids’ homework (10%)
  • Streaming TV/Film (10%)
  • Gaming (8%)
  • Gambling, such as placing bets, playing the lottery or bingo (5%)
  • Watching porn (5%)
  • Keeping kids entertained (4%)

Luis Navarro, Totality Services co-founder, bared to Wales Online several warnings-slash-tips to workers who may be using their work devices for personal content.

  1. Always assume the admin is watching every move
  2. Don't try to outsmart the software in place
  3. Surfing anonymously is not a fail-safe
  4. Surfing the web for porn on a work device may be a sackable offence

Read more: Fun Friday: Court rules walk from 'bed to home office' is a commute

Not to mention, visiting suspicious websites containing adult content may not be the best idea in terms of security, especially when using a work-provided gadget.

Bogdan Botezatu, director of Threat Research and Reporting at Bitdefender, previously told PC Mag UK that there are cases when malicious advertisements are displayed on porn websites, which emphasises the need to have a security solution running in the background.

Porn websites may become a platform or front for phishing sites, where unknowing users may be asked to provide personal data that can later be used for dangerous purposes. Such personal data could cover credit care numbers or contact information. This could have dangerous implications if an employee is using a personal gadget while being victimised

Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN, warned about this in the same PC Mag report, where he also said that ads that could download malware or ransomware on the gadget.

"When looking for explicit content, users might end up on phishing sites or may click on ads that lead to downloading malware or ransomware," he stressed.

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