Nearly two thirds of UK businesses ban access to inappropriate websites and monitor employees' internet activity, according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Research by the CMI in association with Ordnance Survey, also revealed that 18 percent of businesses impose a curfew as to when employees can access the web. However, 72 percent of employees questioned said they relied on the web for 'professional development' while 59 percent also claimed it was 'useful research tool'.

The CMI also highlighted that many UK organisations are slow to adopt Web 2.0 technology, with only 39 of UK businesses revealing they are happy for employees to use web-based applications such as Google Docs.

Jan Hutchinson, director of HR and corporate services at Ordnance Survey, said: "The low level adoption of new technology is in tandem with employers' belief that internet usage is a ‘time waster'. It's something that must be looked at because the longer this situation is allowed to remain unchallenged, the greater the likelihood UK employers will fall behind their international competitors".