Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of Brits use the internet at work during their lunch hour for personal activities, says Star.

Research by the cloud service provider revealed nearly two thirds (62 percent) said they use a work net connection for online banking and shopping, while 63 percent use it to catch up on personal emails.

Furthermore, just under a third (31 percent) access social networks, including Facebook, from work during their lunch break.

One in three British workers admitted they spend their lunch time watching online sports or checking out the latest sports results, while 16 percent of men and seven percent of women use a work net connection to view catch-up TV services, such as the BBC iPlayer, during their lunch hour.

John Adey, chief operating officer at Star, said: "We believe that the high internet traffic volumes during the 12:00 to 14:00hrs time frame indicates that employers are taking a liberal approach to allowing employees access to the Internet during the lunch hour for non work related activities."

However, Adey warned the use of high bandwidth intensive applications like live sports and catch-up TV could mean that businesses may have to increase their bandwidth capacity to support their employees' lunchtime surfing habits.

"Another issue worth thinking about is that accessing non-work related sites could leave their business open to a greater risk of employees downloading malware onto the corporate network," added Adey

"While there are many benefits to having a liberal policy to internet use it seems the potential risks and costs are being ignored. Star would always suggest that UK businesses continue to benefit from giving people access to the content they want during non-working hours but do so in a safe way. The ideal way to do this is via dedicated computers that are not connected to the corporate network which mitigates the risk of anyone introducing any threats or leaking sensitive company data."

See also: 94% of Brits will surf the web while on holiday