The minor moral panic about the effect of social networking sites on work performance continues as a new survey of office workers suggests that time spent on sites such as Twitter and Facebook costs UK businesses £1.38 billion a year in lost productivity.
According to the poll of 1,460 office workers commissioned by IT services firm Morse, 57 percent said they used social networking sites in the office for personal use. By those, an average of some 40 minutes was spent per week was spent on the sites. The figure of £1.38bn was calculated using the national average wage and the amount of people in office work.
Some organisations, notably Portsmouth City Council, have imposed on employees a complete ban on using social networking sites, but Morse consultant Philip Wicks cautioned against “draconian” measures.
“The popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook has grown considerably over the past couple of years,” he said. However, with it has come the temptation to visit such sites during office hours. When it comes to an office environment the use of these sites is clearly becoming a productivity black hole.
“The recent case of Portsmouth City Council banning Facebook access for all employees was a high-profile example, but it is clear that businesses shouldn’t turn a blind eye to their employees’ use of social networks, and instead look to formulate and enforce sensible usage policies.”
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