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August 04, 2010 09:19 ET

Productivity Suffers as Employees Waste Time on Facebook and Twitter During Working Hours

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 4, 2010) - It's official. We are wasting time social networking when we should be hard at work. A new survey of over 1000 people conducted in the US and the UK reveals how social media usage is leading to time-wasting and lost production.

The survey by news navigator found that almost four in ten people (39%) use social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter while at work.

In fact, over a quarter (26%) admitted frankly that they were spending more than an hour a day on social networking sites, but on matters that had no relation to their jobs.

However, the rise in social media usage at work is clearly something that bothers a large number of the people sampled by A surprising 45% of respondents called for their bosses to monitor other employees' online habits more closely.

The rise of social networking has been phenomenal. Facebook – the world's most popular social networking site – recently announced it had 500m regular users. In fact, almost two-thirds of all internet users in the United States are now on Facebook.

Dr Marc Pinter-Krainer, CEO of One News Page, says:

"Our survey reveals there are naturally some negative consequences to these sites' explosive growth. Over a quarter (25.6%) of our sample admitted that their use of social networking sites was becoming a bad habit. Bosses must be worried that work productivity is being sacrificed as people satisfy their Facebook and Twitter cravings."

Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, adds:

"I suspect there's more than one reason why staff are using social networking sites at work. Of course, there will always be people who take advantage, but bear in mind that employees in the States and the UK work very long hours, so they have to spend some time while at work to organise their lives. 

"Also, with both economies still coming out of recession, I suspect some staff might be a little underutilised. They put in long hours to show commitment and because they feel they might lose their job if they don't. Also, for the very busy, using these sites is a good stress reliever; it can take the pressure off for a few moments before they start work again."

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