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Social networks cost UK business £14 billion a year

A report today suggests that social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are costing the UK business arena around £14 billion a year in lost working hours. It is estimated that around 2 million people, 6% of the UK workforce, regularly use social networking sites in worktime with many "logging on" for in excess of one hour per day. While 14% of those questioned believe that using social networking sites in worktime makes them less productive, around 10% seem to be in denial, suggesting that using Facebook and Twitter has actually improved their productivity.

There is no doubt that the Internet is now hitting all areas of everyday life and it is impossible in many ways to control the use of the Internet within working times. However, while many employers will turn a blind eye to minimal use of the Internet in working hours, more and more employers are looking to introduce software which either blocks use of the Internet or monitors those "abusing the system".

In all honesty there needs to be a balance between worktime and social time but if employees continue to abuse the use of the Internet then ultimately we could see tighter regulations introduced and more people losing their jobs through "inappropriate activity in working hours".

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