Slow broadband speeds have emerged as the biggest time-waster for small businesses in the UK, according to a study commissioned by Virgin Media Business.

Senior decision makers said the average employee loses roughly 15 minutes a day to slow broadband, meaning a business with just eight employees could lose a full day of work a week.

The research shows 57% of SMEs believe that the internet is critical to their business and that they wouldn’t be able to function without it. However, poor connections are becoming detrimental to their daily operations.

When small businesses were asked what they would do if they could complete their daily tasks more quickly, the top three responses were spending more quality time with family (40%), having dinner with their partner (30%) and going to the gym or playing sport (30%).

Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy but need the right tools and technology to thrive."