Nearly three quarters of workers (74 percent) will show off the new gadgets they received at Christmas in the office and plug them into their employer's network, says Virgin Media Business.

Research by the business ISP revealed that 40 percent admitted they have previous plugged their own personal gadgets, such as iPads and smartphones, into their company's network without permission from the IT department.

Employees in the legal and public sectors are the worst offenders, with 79 percent of workers in these sectors claiming they'll ward off the January blues by bringing their gadgets into the office.

"The boundaries between what is a 'work' gadget and what is not have been blurring for quite some time," said Andrew McGrath, executive director, commercial at Virgin Media Business.

"There are two key concerns for business. Firstly, that this is yet another channel via which corporate data can be stolen or misused, and secondly, that the network will be flooded with yet more traffic that is unaccounted for.

"Ignoring the prolific rise of personal consumer gadgets in the workplace simply isn't an option anymore. Companies need to take action now. Well-defined usage policies and educating employees so that they are clear about why these practices have been put in place are key."

McGrath said knowing which employees are using which devices on the network will help the business to support staff, ensure that confidential information is safe and that business bandwidth isn't mysteriously being eaten up.

"Once the ground rules have been set, businesses are free to fully embrace new technologies and enjoy all of the benefits that they offer," he added.

See also: 39% of office staff scared of videoconferencing