Mobile workers feel firm's laptops belong to them

A survey commissioned by Vodafone UK found nearly half the 1,000 people who participated possessed a work laptop with internet access that is used for personal things regularly outside work. One in two employees consider their work issued laptops or mobile devices their own property once away from the office, with 68% stating that using a work-supplied laptop outside working hours is a "˜fair exchange' in the work/life balance equation.

The survey was commissioned to support the launch of a new product from Vodafone - Vodafone Secure Remote Access (VSRA) - a managed service to enforce companies' IT policy.

Other findings include:

"¢ 49.6% of employees using their own mobile broadband connection; "¢ 29.6% using Wi-Fi to facilitate use of their company mobile device when at home;

"¢ 65% of senior managers surveyed agreed that it is acceptable for employees to use work-supplied laptops for their own purposes outside of work because, as recession bites and other forms of reward such as pay-rises and bonuses are harder to deliver, perks become more important in retaining key staff.