Is the Internet just a huge waste of time?

Over the last couple of decades the Internet has revolutionised how we work, how we shop, how we communicate and how we consume media. In most regards it has made life quicker and easier, but it has also brought challenges and side-effects.

Technology may have made many tasks simpler, but it has also increased distractions and shepherded in more ways to procrastinate. You've probably noticed that while you can get many things done faster than ever, you spend a great deal of time doing nothing of worth.

Read more: Sir Tim Berners-Lee slams companies trying to slow down the Internet

In fact, rather than saving money, the widespread adoption of technology could be costing business dearly. Research shows that nearly two-thirds of employees spend work hours browsing sites unrelated to work - a surprising three per cent of them spending more than 10 hours a week actively avoiding work online. All of these wasted man hours add up, resulting in an average cost of almost $3,000 (£1,800) per employee each year.

But it's not just websites that are a distraction. Research found that just 14 per cent of emails are crucial to work and 62 per cent of people found that dealing with unnecessary messages was one of the down sides of using email as a means of communication. A surprising finding is that, on average, workers spend 4 hours - or half the working day - handling emails.

Technology has, of course, also resulted in some effective time-savers. For example, using e-signatures can cut document turnaround time by as much as 90 per cent and having mobile access to CRM applications has seen productivity rise by 15 per cent.

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