The firm questioned 1,460 office workers, and 57 per cent of those said they used social networking sites during the working day for personal use. On average they were spending 40 minutes on these sites each week – equating to almost a full working week every year being wasted on the sites.
Philip Wicks, consultant at Morse, said: “The popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook has grown considerably over the past couple of years, 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.
“The recent case of Portsmouth City Council banning Facebook access for all employees was a high-profile example, but it is clear that businesses shouldn’t turn a blind eye to their employees’ use of social networks, and instead look to formulate and enforce sensible usage policies.”
Other results revealed that 76 per cent of those surveyed said their employer had not issued them with specific guidelines with regards to using Twitter.
Worryingly, a third of those questioned admitted they had seen sensitive information posted on social networks, but 84 per cent felt that it should be up to them as to what they post online.
Despite the growing security threats, 81 per cent of those surveyed admitted that they were concerned they might be clicking on a link to an unsecure web site.
“After years of preaching the security dangers of clicking on unknown emails and websites, employees can unintentionally be letting their guard down when it comes to clicking on links from the likes of Twitter and other social networking sites,” added Wicks.
“It is important that businesses do their best to protect themselves by reiterating the dangers. However, if implemented correctly, the use of social networks can help facilitate closer ties with employees and customers. Therefore, businesses need to strike the right balance between engagement and productivity when it comes to employee usage.”
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