Social Notworking Costs UK £58 Billion In Lost Labour Every Year

Social networking and other online collaboration tools cost UK businesses billions of pounds a year in lost productivity according to a survey released today and unearthed by thinq_

The research quizzed 500 UK companies about the working habits of their employees and found that more than half wasted at least an hour a day answering personal emails, chatting on instant messaging services or seeing what everyone else was up to on Facebook.

Nearly half of those questioned said they rarely went more than 15 minutes without being distracted by something social going 'ping', but the biggest waste of time was switching between the various applications used to keep in touch.

The research assumes an average salary of £14.25 an hour - nearly two and a half times the current UK National Minimum Wage of £5.93 - to calculate its annual figure of £3,277.50 in wasted productivity per employee.

Before you start blocking every form of social media from your networks you should, however, bear in mind that the average UK worker also puts in more than seven hours of unpaid overtime every week, so maybe letting the odd tweet slip out isn't such a bad thing.