Web usage in office unrelated to job put at an hour daily

The Internet's an easy time killer, from shopping, e-mail, the sports sites, checking out movie trailers, maybe even reading some news. And Americans hardly restrict all this Web activity to their personal time.

But how much do you think people spend each day on the job with Internet use that isn't work-related?

A national staffing firm posed that question to 150 senior executives and got an average response of 56 minutes per day. And many employees forget that companies routinely monitor what you're doing on their computers.

Nearly a quarter, 23 percent, said their company monitors Internet activity "very closely," and 41 percent said "somewhat closely."

The data were compiled by Accountemps, a financial temporary staffing firm.

Good recruiting practices found to help bottom line

News to hiring managers: Good recruiting practices directly affect financial performance, according to a study that suggests diligent recruiting benefits company shareholders.

Companies that filled positions within two weeks provided total return to shareholders of 59 percent between 2002 and 2004 versus 11 percent at companies that required at least seven weeks to fill positions. And companies that typically fill a position after just one offer was made had a three-year shareholder return of 44 percent versus 32 percent for companies that had to make two or more offers to fill an opening.

The "human capital index" study was released last week by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a unit of Watson Wyatt & Co. Holdings.

The study was drawn from an analysis of human resource practices at 147 North American companies with a track record of at least three years of shareholder returns, 1,000 or more employees and a minimum of $100 million in revenue or market value.

Pharmacists' median pay rises 5.5% to $93,000

Pharmacists are seeing an increase in their paychecks.

The 2005 Pharmacy Compensation Survey found that pharmacists' median pay is now $93,000, up from $88,000 last year. The 5.5 percent increase is due to a continuing shortage of pharmacy professionals, the growth of retail pharmacies aggressively competing with hospitals and medical centers for pharmacists, and the pending retirements of baby boomers and the fact that there will not be enough younger pharmacists to replace them.

"Basically, there are too many jobs for too few pharmacists, and pharmacy operators are paying competitively to fill open positions," said Eric Michael, a senior consultant with Mercer's Managed Pharmacy Benefit division.

Chief information officers say duties, influence grow

Chief information officers, whose work was once limited to the control of technology, have a lot more influence these days.

A new study reveals that CIOs have far more financial responsibility than they had in the past, with 97 percent of 292 technology executives polled saying they now have a direct impact on corporate finances and earnings. In addition, 73 percent said their role and level of influence has increased in recent years.

The study was commissioned by the CIO Executive Council.

When asked how their roles had changed, 49 percent said they felt they had greater influence among top executives than they had before. They also said their jobs had been expanded to include management of business processes or functions that have nothing to do with information technology. From Associated Press and Boston Globe reports

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