Social networking costs firms £130 million a day

Social networking costs firms £130 million a day

Facebook is one of the major culprits behind productivity loss at firms with internet access.

Do you spend time visiting popular social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace when you're supposed to be working? Did you know that your leisure surfing is costing UK firms in upwards of £130 million a day? Well you are, at least according to a study of 3,500 UK companies done by employment law firm Peninsula.

A whopping 223 million hours are estimated to being lost every month by employees surfing the web.

"Why should employers allow their workers to waste two hours a day on Facebook when they are being paid to do a job?" said Mike Huss of Peninsula. "The figures that we have calculated are minimums and it's a problem that I foresee will escalate. Some companies are happy to let their workers use the internet for personal use, assuming that goals and targets are achieved.

Many companies today monitor their network traffic and ban sites that draw the most time away from productivity. Some of our own forum members have even had bit-tech banned at their workplace for spending time browsing through our project logs.

Instead of filtering out sites one by one, maybe IT departments will start banning the Internet as a whole and only allow access to a given set or work related sites in order to curtail a decline in worker productivity.

Do you spend lots of time at work reading our articles or browsing our tremendous project logs? If you're at work right now then sound out over in the forums. Don't worry, we won't tell your boss.


Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 10th September 2007, 14:11 Quote
My work bans very little to be fair, however it does ban most of the photo site making the project logs/ the general forum and the photography forum kinda difficult since i don't get the pictures. I'm not a social type so i don't know about Facebook et al
Mankz 10th September 2007, 14:23 Quote
At school you're only allowed Facebook in the top 2 years and Myspace is banned (its full of emo's.) becuase we used to spend far to much time on it.

So now I just use a Proxy instead...
naokaji 10th September 2007, 14:26 Quote
does bit-tech count as social network site?

/sarcasm off


i've never in my live been to facebook... i dont have a myspace or other such sites account... but i sure spend a lot of time on sites like bit-tech or xtremesystems...
Mankz 10th September 2007, 14:28 Quote
Facebook is God!
d3fiant 10th September 2007, 14:31 Quote
I work for a large financial company in the UK, we have recently had bandwidth problems and it turned out in the last 30 days facebook is the largest culprit of this, and is some 4 times the next highest offender. We have roughly 12k UK employees and it turns out there is a uk community for our company on facebook with over 5k people, thats nearly half our UK workforce.......its crazy
cjoyce1980 10th September 2007, 14:34 Quote
facebook is homo!
steveo_mcg 10th September 2007, 14:38 Quote
Now now, just cause your more anti social than me. No need for names :D
atanum141 10th September 2007, 14:59 Quote
Do they really think the UK workforce is that productive?

Gimmie a break.
Phil Rhodes 10th September 2007, 15:23 Quote
I dunno, it's more email and bit-tech for me.

Don't tell my bo.... oh, bugger, I'm self-employed.

cpemma 10th September 2007, 15:25 Quote
Before the internet we just talked to each other, face-to-face. Or disappeared into the toilet with a magazine. Your headline would be
Mayfair costs UK business...
Mother-Goose 10th September 2007, 15:26 Quote
I can agree with that, I'd probably say my day isn't complete without a few hours of facebooking, but mainly because I hate my job, I reckon this is the common factor.
Duste 10th September 2007, 15:42 Quote
Only those workers that use MySpace should be sacked, the rest should be congratulated for not using a piece of emo-**** website.
aggies11 10th September 2007, 16:41 Quote
If social networking costs that many millions, imagine how much lunches and break time sets them back. We should go ahead and ban those too! Heck, getting up from your desk to go to the bathroom is lost productivity also, so why not chain/tether employees to their desks!

Seriously, a happy employee is a productive one. Many people hate their jobs, and if the internet is how the cope and not blow their brains out, then it's a good thing.

RTT 10th September 2007, 16:43 Quote
Mother-Goose 10th September 2007, 16:51 Quote
*Throws sheep at RTT*
yodasarmpit 10th September 2007, 17:24 Quote
Most forums and social networking sites are blocked where I work, however, bit-tech is fine :)

Myspace isn't blocked, but probably because it's part of the Group I work for, not that I actually use it anyway.
Aankhen 10th September 2007, 20:05 Quote
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
facebook is homo!
Er… even if it were… so what? :?
completemadness 10th September 2007, 21:45 Quote
I guess you can only claim that this costs businesses money if the emplyees actually worked the time they spend on social networking sites, which, i doubt, they will just waste the time some other way
pendragon 10th September 2007, 21:50 Quote
I read technology sites on occasion (i.e. everyday) at work.. I relagate all those social networking sites to home-use however.
DXR_13KE 10th September 2007, 22:27 Quote
i would laugh it they blocked everything and made £130 million less.......
Almightyrastus 10th September 2007, 23:13 Quote
I have a myspace account but I visit it so rarely, never seen the attraction to it. Never signed up to facebook either, again, no attraction to it. Most of my lunchbreaks at work are spent either having a nosey through here or on the air arms owners club forum, that's all the social stuff I do online (apart from chatting to the mrs(she lives in Holland :( ))
3dHeli 11th September 2007, 13:47 Quote
what's emo short for ?
Delphium 11th September 2007, 13:55 Quote
*blocked all emails from * and * from all my email accounts.
*denyed access to and on router @ home.

Bit-tech, my love for you is pure :D
Sam0r 11th September 2007, 16:23 Quote
Originally Posted by 3dHeli
what's emo short for ?

Emotive, apparently.

Edit: I stand corrected. Not that I care..
Almightyrastus 11th September 2007, 18:24 Quote
righteous_slave 11th September 2007, 19:24 Quote
Some one check my math please, but I come up with 7,433,333 hours wasted a day, making 929,166 person's 8 hr days wasted on social networking sites. Are these firms that big that they are employing that many people and paying them that much a day to actually be losing that much money? Someone's cooking the books to generate news says my money.

That took about ten minutes of my work time that can be added into those figures.
steveo_mcg 11th September 2007, 19:42 Quote
I think that is country wide.
The_Beast 11th September 2007, 22:43 Quote
My school used to let me go on Bit but then it was blocked :(
GuitarBizarre 11th September 2007, 22:56 Quote
Oh big deal. If they block one site then people will just find others to waste time on. Expecting your workforce to be 100% productive for their entire working day just isn't feasible, and trying to shock people into thinking our workforce is a bunch of lazy slacking fools with stories like this helps no-one.

I've seen it time and time again in all forms of workplace from schools to offices and workshops, even market stalls. People are going to find a way to doss on the job at some point, you may as well just accept it as a fact of life and move on. Promoting it obviously won't help, but being draconian and blocking everything you can won't help either because you'll end up with an unhappy workforce. (Stupidly, its companies that pay less, that are most often draconian about their internet access and suchlike. If they pay peanuts people are going to value their job less, if they try and force people to work they're eventually going to start looking for other jobs where the management arent total asshats.)

In my experience, the best system is the unspoken rule, as in, no-one says it, but if you asked you'd probably get 'Don't work yourself to death, you're allowed a little leisure, but remember you're on the clock and only do it if there's nothing important that has to be done. We're the management and we know you'll do it somehow and somewhen, so as long as you do it in a non disruptive way and get your work done, we're cool with it.'
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