Employers in the UK's IT sector are too quick to dismiss internet-based research as a way of boosting productivity, says the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Many IT firms are failing to use technology to drive business opportunities and performance, according to figures published by the CMI and Ordnance Survey.
CMI research reveals that employers across the IT sector view internet activity as a huge time-waster.
A survey of over 800 IT employees found that 60% monitor employee internet access, 55% block access to some websites and 12% limit access to certain times.
In contrast, 79% said the internet was useful for research, 77% said they want to use the internet for professional development and 64% said it helps them do their work.
Some 14% said they want to use social and business networking sites such as LinkedIn to ask questions of a wider group of people.
Jo Causon, director corporate affairs at CMI, said, "Failure to do so will lead to frustration and loss of top talent or even open the door for competitors to build advantage through a better equipped and enabled workforce."
Some 26% said employers waited too long and used only tried-and-tested technology, while 10% described their employers as "dinosaurs" when it came to technology.
Jan Hutchinson, director of HR and corporate services at Ordnance Survey, said the longer the situation continues, the greater the likelihood that UK employers will fall behind international competitors.