85% of IT security staff globally take leisure breaks during office hours—study

Up to 85% of IT Security personnel take breaks during working hours to engage in leisure activities. This is based on the findings of a report titled ‘Managing Your IT Security Team,’ which was commissioned in June 2020 by the Kaspersky Global Corporate IT Security Risks Survey and had 4,266 IT professionals as respondents across 31 countries globally.

According to the report, 42% of the IT security staff polled read the news, while 37% watch videos on YouTube, and 34% watch movies or TV series. Moreover, 31% of the respondents do physical exercises and another 33% read professional literature.

The side activities account for about 6 hours per week—1 hour more than how much time other staff across the company spend for similar leisure tasks.

A shift to home-based or remote work is logically further blurring the lines between working and personal time. The combination of factors also causes distractions from work. Furthermore, work-from-home setups cause some duties and meetings to be scheduled beyond the standard 9 to 5 workday. Thus, it is more important to take breaks for people to remain productive over extended working periods. About 48% of the respondents think that distractions from work are needed as breaks between tasks, rather than due to boredom or lack of work.

Additionally, about 46% of IT security employees think some of their colleagues are leaving their jobs due to high workloads. About 41% of employees across all other departments share this opinion.

“I don’t think that it’s an issue that employees are distracted from work,” said Kaspersky Head of Information Andrey Evdokimov. “There should be control over task performance, not how many working hours are spent on a hobby. Also, it may be normal for people to watch videos, as it may give insights into how to solve a problem. All in all, if work is not interesting for someone and there is a lack of task management, as an employee will find a way to do something different, even from the office.”