SMEs Drive Workplace Surfing

Employees in small to medium enterprises are the major drivers of
workplace Web activity in Australia, according to the first report on
Internet usage at work released by research group
Nielsen//NetRatings.

The report indicates that just over 50 percent of people who access
the Internet from work are employed in organisations with fewer than
100 people, while 32 percent work in companies with less than 20
people.

The research also found that 84 percent of Australians with Internet
access have access from home, compared to 52 percent who have
access from work. Thirty-six percent have both work and home
access.

Nielsen//NetRatings has also identified in its research the key areas
of Web activity, finding highest Internet penetration in the financial
services, communications and educational services sectors and the
lowest in construction and agriculture sectors.

This new research, which aims to compare work Internet access with
that from home, is an appetizer before Nielsen//NetRaings adds full
at-work Web audience measurement to its service in the next few
months, in a bid to better compete with Web measurement rivals for
clients by showing a more complete slice of the Internet-using
public.

“This report shows that more Australians have Internet access from
home than they do from work, and that surfing habits of Australians
mirror those in the US, where contrary to popular belief sites
surfed from work do not differ greatly from those surfed at home,”
said ACNielsen eRatings.com managing director for Pacific, Brian
Milnes.

“From initial data, we are starting to observe trends in the Australian
work-based environment that are consistent with workplace
information we’ve collected over the last 12 months in the US and
we’re seeing the lines between Web usage at home and at work
becoming increasingly blurred,” he said. “In the US we’re seeing that
surfers are increasingly blending their work and home online activities
wherever they happen to be accessing the Web.”

Milnes also observed an Australian and US pattern in which more
users have Internet access from home than from work, but when
they are at work they tend to spend longer periods of time online. In
the case of this Nielsen research, the difference was an average of
13 hours 10minutes per user from work, compared with six hours 12
minutes from home.

Milnes added that Nielsen’s own research has found that regular
surfers tend to build a ‘basket’ of their most visited sites, whether
they be banking, travel, shopping or news-related. “With some
exceptions, these sites are surfed from both locations,” he said. “We
fully expect this trend will be borne out in Australia over the coming
months.”

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