Media Metrix Inc., the Web traffic measurement company, Thursday published research showing a sharp increase in the amount of content users at work are viewing online. Work users are also spending significantly more time on the Internet than those at home. Office workers have become a significant part of the business plans of online businesses, and the new study indicates that this interest may be justified.
Workers spent about seven hours online during February 1999, about an hour more than last February. But in the same year, they have gone from viewing an average of 242 pages of material a month to 410 pages, a 69 percent rise, according to Media Metrix. Those fast office connections must help, because home users didn't show quite as much activity. In February of this year home users viewed an average of 293 pages and spent a mere five hours online. But that's a big jump from three years ago, when home users spent slightly less than two hours a month in cyberspace.
What's even more surprising might be that most of this surfing from work appears to be work-related. The three most popular categories of Web site for work users were "News, Information and Entertainment" (an hour and 40 minutes), search engines, and marketing or corporate sites. But work users also spent an average of 45 minutes a month browsing shopping sites, which was almost as much time as the 46 minutes they spent looking at pornography.