UK cos productivity hit by social networking sites: Report
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Last Updated: Friday, August 06, 2010, 18:07
London: The growing popularity of social networking sites is costing billions of pounds to UK companies with nearly 2 million of their employees spending more than an hour on these sites at workplace, says a survey.

The employment website, which polled 1,000 British workers found that nearly six per cent, or 2 million, of Britain's 34 million-strong workforce spent over an hour per day on social media while at work, amounting to more than one eighth of their entire working day.

The report warned that social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, among others could potentially be costing the UK up to 14 billion pounds (USD 22.2 billion) in lost work time.

"Our results clearly show that UK workers are spending increased time whilst at work on social media networks, which, left unchecked, could have negative repercussions on the productivity of many companies across the country," Managing Director Lee Fayer said.

The survey also revealed that more than half (55 per cent) of UK's working population now accesses social media while at work, with a third of those (roughly six million) spending more than 30 minutes on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Myspace.

However, despite the negative effects on the economy in the midst of a fragile recovery, many respondents denied the ill-effects of social media on their efficiency and 10 per cent of them even claimed that social media had increased their productivity. While only 14 per cent admitted to being less productive as a result of social media.

The report noted that there was still widespread resistance to banning access to social networks at work, with over two thirds (68 per cent) advocating some form of access during working hours.

Only one third supported that using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube should be barred during work time.

"Whilst we're certainly not kill-joys, people spending over an hour per day in work time on the likes of Facebook and Twitter are seriously hampering companies' efforts to boost productivity, which is more important than ever given the fragile state of our economy," Fayer said.

The companies have decided to keep a check on the use of social networking sites in the office as it is continuously hitting employees' productivity.

Fayer further said, "Companies would do well to monitor use of social networking sites during work hours and ensure that their employees are not abusing their freedom of access to these sites."


First Published: Friday, August 06, 2010, 18:07

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