Social networking costs UK £14 billion

Office computer

Social media use within organisations is costing the UK economy up to 14 billion, as workers spend over an hour a day on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, research has suggested.

Almost six per cent of the 1,000 employees polled by admitted spending more than an hour a day on social networking sites, equating to two million of the 34 million workers in the UK.

More than half of the UK workforce now access social media when at work for at least some period, while a third spend over 30 minutes on such services, the data indicated.

"Whilst we're certainly not kill-joys, people spending over an hour per day in work time on the likes of Facebook and Twitter are seriously hampering companies' efforts to boost productivity, which is more important than ever given the fragile state of our economy," said Lee Fayer, managing director of

"Companies would do well to monitor use of social networking sites during work hours and ensure that their employees are not abusing their freedom of access to these sites."

Many workers are against any ban on social network access, however, with just a third of respondents wanting a block on sites like Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.

Read on to look at our feature on the problems with using social networks and the mishaps that can occur.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.