Research carried out by Opinion Matters and Vodafone has found that people with work mobiles and laptops are potentially putting their companies at risk with personal use of the devices once 5.30pm comes around.

Sampling from over 1000 business people found that nearly half of them had a work laptop with internet access that they used regularly outside of work for personal use.

In fact, one out of two employees said they consider their work issued laptops or mobile devices their own property once away from the office, with 68% stating that using a work-supplied laptop outside working hours is a "fair exchange" in the work/life balance equation.

However this personal use of equipment could pose potential security risks for companies. With 49.6% of employees using their own mobile broadband connection and 29.6% using Wi-Fi to use their laptop at home, the devices are at risk of malware attacks and other security threats, not to mention putting companies at risk of legal liability.

Device performance is also being affected, as more and more often, employees are storing personal music, photos, videos and other downloaded content alongside their work documents.

However despite this, 65% of senior managers agreed that it was acceptable for employees to use work-supplied laptops for their own purposes outside of work.

It seems managers feel that perks such as these will help retain staff during a time that bonuses and pay-rises are harder to deliver.

What do you think? Do you use your company phone or laptop outside of working hours? Leave us a comment with your opinions.