A study by IT service provider Morse has found that 57 per cent of employees spend at least 40 minutes per week on social networking websites such as Twitter, costing their employers around £1.4 billion every year in lost productivity.
According to the Financial Times, the time wasted amounts to just under a full working week every year, while Morse has suggested that these figures could be lower than reality as respondents may have underestimated their usage.
Of those surveyed over 75 per cent reported that their employers has not issued any usage guidelines for Twitter, which Morse says leaves businesses open to security risks, potential brand damage and reduced productivity.
“The popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook has grown considerably over the past couple of years,” said Morse consultant, Philip Wicks. “However, with it has come the temptation to visit such sites during office hours. When it comes to an office environment, the use of these sites is clearly becoming a productivity black hole.”