Social Networks Blamed For $2.25B In Lost Productivity

40 minutes per week add up

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[ Social Media]

Short stretches can really accumulate.  Did you know, for instance, that if someone comes back from lunch nine or ten minutes late every day, he (or she) will take the equivalent of free week of paid vacation per year?  And similarly, one IT services and technology company believes social networking is costing UK businesses $2.25 billion each year.

Morse surveyed 1,460 office workers, and on average, they admitted to spending 40 minutes per week on Twitter, Facebook, and the like.  While on the clock, and for personal use.  Morse did some multiplying and came up with the figure $2.25 billion (or actually, £1.38 billion – we converted) in lost productivity.

What’s more, Morse tried to make its estimate conservative.  It turns out that, when asked about their coworkers, the respondents said they believe the average amount of time spent on social networks is closer to 59 minutes.

Philip Wicks, a consultant at Morse, observed in a statement, "The popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook has grown considerably over the last couple of years, 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."

Don’t be surprised if another wave of businesses decides to create usage policies or block its employees from accessing Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, then.

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Social Networks Blamed For $2.25B In Lost Productivity
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  • http://communitymarketing.typepad.com Andrew Ballenthin

    It’s an interesting point and shocking number for certain. If you were to calculate how much time people spend smoking, handling personal email, talking over a coffee and 10-30 minutes in the morning saying their hello’s and asking how life is with their colleagues I’d guess the number to be monumentally larger.

    What your numbers likely indicate is a realocation of on the job recreational time versus social media being a waste of employers valuable resource. I’ve run employee productivity time studies to measure where a 40-50 hour work week goes. Only 75-80% of time is spent being fully productive for the average employee realistically. Food for thought… thanks for the article.

  • Guest

    It’s not the only distractor, of course. But it takes network resources in addition to the rest – time (time we’re paid for because we have to spend it for work!), eyes (which have no rest anyway), emotional stability (I think all of us had times when we logged in and saw no personal messages, no new comments to your photos / status / comments etc. and it made us frustrated, like “oh, nobody really cares about me!”). So, besides you might pretend you are busy with work, your network resources are really getting busy.

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