The results of a survey of the cost of workers using social networking sites have been published, putting the figure at £1.34bn.
The report, commissioned by tech firm Morse, was covered in the Daily Telegraph in late October, and labels the use of these platforms as a “productivity black-hole”.
The figure is the result of a survey conducted on 1,460 office workers. The calculation is based on a finding that an average of 40 minutes a week is spent on personal use of Twitter.
However, the report fails to take into account the ever increasing benefits businesses see upon incorporating Twitter and similar technologies in their marketing campaigns, not to mention various other factors that should be taken into account.
It has been found that UK workers have, over the last few years been gradually decreasing the time they take for lunch. The national average now stands at a modest 28 minutes. This suggests many workers eat at their desks and carry on with their work. This more than recuperates the weekly loss of 40 minutes to social media sites.
Probably a more interesting and worthwhile report would have found how the UK economy benefits from employee participation on SM, Many organisations are publicly vouching for its effectiveness and increasing brand awareness.
Twitter in particular can be a good source of information and tips – depending, of course, on who a user is reading. No surveys have yet been carried out on the benefits gained there.
That said, a recent story also highlighted the need for companies to communicate to employees how social media can benefit their businesses. DSGi Group’s employees were found firing off embittered customer service-related missives on a dedicated Facebook group, in full view of the buying public.
According to the Morse survey, three quarters of surveyed workers said their employer hadn’t stipulated one way or the other a policy for the use of such technologies, indicating a clear need for companies to introduce clear fair-use policies, such as those of Sun Microsystems.