Facebook at work

Wasting away an hour on Facebook at work could cost the UK economy as much as £25 billion every year, according to new research by Officebroker.com.

The study found that more than a third (35%) spend more than an hour on Facebook every day at work. Over a quarter (27%) admitted going on the social network site during meetings, and 10% even admitted spending extra time on the loo to check their timeline.

It comes as no surprise that 72% of the 1,150 workers surveyed admitted to checking their Facebook at work. Of those, 81% said they try t hide it from their bosses or colleagues. Despite its preference with professional users, just 12% admitted using LinkedIn at work and 8% use Twitter.

On average we visit the Facebook, whether on a computer or the mobile app, 13.8 times during the day, for two minutes and 22 seconds each time. Based on the current UK average salary and working week, Officebroker.com estimated the annual cost of Facebook time wasting to a UK business to be £824 per employee. Combined with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the figure rises to a whopping £25.8bn to the wider UK economy.

Chris Meredith, CEO of Officebroker.com, said: "As the CEO of a busy company, the amount of time I can visibly see being wasted as I walk around the office is a source of annoyance for me personally. I doubt I'm the only boss who thinks this way. Where is the business value? I'm not surprised so many companies choose to police internet usage so aggressively. Okay, if you work in marketing or support you may have valid reasons for spending a lot of your working day with Facebook open, but apart from business critical tasks, I'm slightly skeptical.

These survey results really got us thinking so we decided to look at deeper Facebook usage statistics to try to see how big of a problem this really is. A recent study last month said using Facebook can cause depression. Well, the cost to employers of staff wasting business hours on it might just well tip some bosses over the edge."