UK businesses don't trust the net

Chartered Management Institute survey suggests younger managers are more web-savvy, but that businesses still try to block web use at work.

UK businesses don't trust the internet to help their business or their employees' productivity, according to a study by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The survey of 1,000 managers under the age of 35 showed businesses see the web as a "timewaster" leading two-thirds to monitor sites and block inappropriate websites. Nearly a fifth have "curfews" on internet use at work.

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But the research showed a divide between how managers like to use the web and how they see their employees using it. Some 72 per cent of workers claimed to use the web for professional development, and 59 per cent said they used it for research. In addition, 43 per cent need it for work.

Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the CMI, said: "Younger managers are growing up with much greater familiarity of technology and are comfortable using technologies such as mobile video, TV on-demand, or information services such as Google and Wikipedia."

Caulson added: "Quite clearly, organisations need to harness the comfort levels these individuals have with internet-based resources, because failure to do so will lead to frustration and the loss of top talent at best, or worse, an open door for competitors to build advantage through a better equipped and enabled workforce."

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Indeed, 16 per cent of the younger managers surveyed called their employer a tech "dinosaur." While 95 per cent of UK businesses use email and 81 per cent have an intranet, just 39 per cent have used web-based applications and just nine per cent have tried web-casting, the survey found.

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