UK employers are losing out on 14 billion pounds a year in lost work time from employees spending time on social networks while at work. Research from myjobgroup.co.uk estimated that two million workers spend an hour of each work day on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. More than one-half of all UK work force spends 30 minutes a day on social networking sites.
Of those participating in the study, 10 per cent stated they felt social networking made them more productive while only 14 per cent admitted the social networking sites made them less productive. One-third of those polled believe businesses should ban social networking all together, while the other two-thirds believe access should remain during working hours.
Lee Fayer, managing director of Myjobsgroup.co.uk said: “Whilst we are certainly not kill-joys, people spending over an hour a day in work time on the likes of Facebook are seriously hampering companies’ efforts to boost productivity, which is more important than ever given the fragile state of our economy.”
The industries where staff use computers to complete their daily jobs are more likely to have staff that visit social networking sites. Small to medium businesses, which depend heavily on high employee productivity output, are likely to see employees losing work time to social networking. Some companies have created Internet stations in break areas to help ease the abuse of social networking use during work time.
Scott Davidson, managing editor of myjobgroup.co.uk said: “It is expected social media usage will continue to grow and employers may have to more seriously address any over-use issues. We encourage employers t0o try and strike a balance with their workforce by not being overly draconian but trust their employees to not compromise their work and subsequent productivity.”
It will prove difficult for employers to limit access to social networks due to mobile phone apps and the growing accessibility these applications give users. According to Facebook data over one-half of the entire UK population has a Facebook account.