Businesses lose £88 billion per year as a result of online distractions

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11th March 2016 16:57 - Business Support

According to research by OfficeGenie.co.uk, British workers spend in excess of 45 minutes per day wasting time on the internet whilst at work, which equates to £88 billion worth of working hours for businesses in the UK every year.Businesses lose £88 billion per year as a result of online distractions

The key findings from the survey were:

  • The average worker in the UK needlessly wastes 48 minutes every day on the internet, at a cost of £88 billion each year in wasted working hours
  • Young people waste almost double the amount of time online as their older colleagues
  • Those who work from home were found to spend double the amount of time indulging in online distractions as office-based staff
  • Shopping online was found to be a popular distraction, however, social media took the top spot

Those aged between 16 and 24 were found to be the demographic most likely to waste time – being found to spend 1 hour and 2 minutes per day using the internet for personal use. On the other hand, those aged between 55 and 64 were found to spend the least amount of time (27 minutes) online.

Between home workers and online workers, those working from home were found to waste nearly twice as much time as those working in an office, with 1 hour and 12 minutes, and 34 minutes respectively.

The findings also discovered that online shopping was the most frequent distraction, only topped by social media. As well as this, news sites ranked third for popular online distractions.

Head of Strategy at OfficeGenie.co.uk, Peter Ames, said of the research findings: “People may think a quick diversion every now and then can’t hurt, but when you look at the nation as whole, serious amounts of time, and effectively money, are being wasted every year.

 “However, introducing draconian measures to prevent this, such as checking employee browsing history, are only going to breed a culture of mistrust. This is something no employer wants.

 “We’d advise bosses to communicate internet usage policies to all employees, and be flexible with working hours, allowing staff to make up for time lost if they need to use the web for personal tasks.”

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