UK cos productivity hit by social networking sites: Report

The growing popularity of social networking sites is costing billions of pounds to UK companies.

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

"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."