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Bosses sick of Twitter timewasters

An increasing number of employers are getting fed up by the amount of time their employees are spending on twitter, according to a new study. A further 15 percent identified themselves as very concerned about the time spent by employees on the social networking site.

The research, carried out by SME money saving website, found that over 47 percent of business owners were somewhat concerned by the length of time their staff spent reading their twitter feed. Employers have also raised concerns that the use of twitter streaming programs, such as ‘Tweet Deck’ – which provides continuous twitter updates – has led to a fall in office productivity. In the same survey office workers were asked to answer, ‘honestly’, how much work time they spend on their personal twitter account. Whilst a majority (63 percent) openly admitted to briefly using twitter at work, only 13 percent confessed to spending 45 minutes or more on the site.

However, as a spokesperson from explained: “Nobody likes to admit that they are slacking at work, so this figure may be much higher. Therefore it is very difficult to place an exact figure on the amount of time the average worker spends on twitter. “A conservative estimate from our research would be, generally speaking, 20 minutes is lost per employee per day to twitter. For a relatively small company with 30 employees this equates to a loss of 50 hours a week.”

One businessman commented: “We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Yes, we would like to ban staff from using twitter during office hours; however, with the social networks now becoming such a powerful advertising tool it would be commercial suicide to do so. “We have tried banning people from sites like twitter and facebook or just limiting them to using it in their lunch hour; although this has become harder and harder to enforce.”

“Another problem we are facing is the blurring of personal and professional relationships in the office. For example we have had cases of people phoning in sick but then tweeting about going to the shops. For colleagues who follow that person on twitter, this then puts them in a very difficult position.” The spokesperson concluded: “In today’s digital age, companies are under increasing pressure to add social media to their on-going marketing campaigns and with over half of the UK now using sites like Facebook and twitter, you can see why.”

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