Almost one third of people in Germany use their personal computers at work in order to go online. In the year 2003 this percentage had been 16%. According to the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media, by international standards the current percentage of people in Germany going online in their workplaces is about average.
For the year 2008 BITKOM expect an increase of this percentage to 33%. A published by BITKOM for companies deals with legal consequences, dangers and possibilities of internet use in the workplace. This brochure is available for free-of-charge download.
The EU average percentage of internet use amounted to 25% in the year 2007. Leading in this respect are the Netherlands and Denmark with 43% each and Sweden with 42%. In Austria 32% of people use the internet in the workplace. The lowest percentages (between 8% and 14%) of internet use in the workplace were registered in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland.
19 out of 20 companies employing at least ten people are already connected to the internet. Even for traditional businesses such as handicraft companies internet access is nowadays indispensable.
There is no special law in Germany giving an answer to the question whether private use of the internet in the workplace besides the professional one is admissible. Most rules in this respect follow from general laws and precedent rulings. However, this subject is very delicate. Therefore, the above mentioned BITKOM brochure is very useful and may be downloaded free of charge.