Why work when you can Web surf?

According to the latest Nielsen/Net Ratings survey, Americans spend twice as much time surfing the Net at work as they do at home.

It's going to be a long holiday weekend for many Americans.

New figures from Nielsen/NetRatings show office workers are spending twice as much time online, apparently because of the greater availability of high-speed access.

The January average for Internet users was 21 hours at work, 9.5 hours at home. And while some categories -- notably adult sites -- are more popular with home users, finance sites are much more popular at work, as are news and information sites.

Shopping is a popular pastime at both home and work.

Online auctioneer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), tops in both venues, has more home users in absolute numbers, but people at work tend to stick with it longer, averaging 157 minutes.

Although the active Internet audience size within the workplace was 30.6 million, much smaller than the active Internet audience size of 77 million within the home, the average number of sessions online was dramatically higher for workplace users: 41 sessions at work compared with 18 sessions at home.

"Web users are taking advantage of the fast Internet connections within the workplace to communicate and obtain information more efficiently," said Allen Weiner, vice president of analytical services at NetRatings Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT).

"While there may be less people overall using the Internet at work compared to the home, those who utilize the medium in the workplace are spending more time on it because of its easy accessibility and its high bandwidth."