Social media is costing the UK economy billions

Social media networks are costing the UK economy billions of pounds every year, as employees are wasting their time surfing these sites, new research says.

OfficeBroker.com surveyed more than 1150 UK workers in permanent employment about their social media habits while at work. Research has shown that 72 per cent check their Facebook feed while at work, while 81 per cent said they hide these actions from colleagues and bosses.

Twitter and LinkedIn are not as popular, with 8 and 12 per cent of those surveyed said they use these platforms during work, respectively.

Breaking the numbers down, OfficeBroker.com says we visit Facebook 13.8 times during the day, for two minutes and 22 seconds each time. Taking into mind the current average salary in the UK, the annual cost of using Facebook amounts to £824 per employee or £25.8bn to the wider UK economy.

Chris Meredith, CEO of OfficeBroker.com said: "As the CEO of a busy company the amount of time I can visibly see being wasted as I walk around the office is a source of annoyance for me personally. I doubt I'm the only boss who thinks this way. Where is the business value? I'm not surprised so many companies choose to police internet usage so aggressively. Ok, so if you work in Marketing or Support you may have valid reasons for spending a lot of your work day with Facebook open, but apart from business critical tasks I'm slightly skeptical"

"These survey results really got us thinking so we decided to look at deeper Facebook usage statistics to try see how big of a problem this really is. A recent study last month said using Facebook can cause depression? Well, the cost to employers of staff wasting business hours on it might just well tip some bosses over the edge".

Photo Credit: Jason Howie/Flickr