Study shows checking updates and adding friends on social website is wasting productive time during the workday
Social networking site Facebook has sucked more than a third of the Danish population in as more than 1.9 million Danes have profiles on the site – and now it’s affecting their productivity at the workplace.
A new study from online consultancy firm Dwarf shows that almost 11 billion kroner’s worth of unproductive work hours are lost annually as employees log on to the website in the workplace.
Around 55,000 employees spend more than 30 minutes during their normal workday on Facebook, according to the study, which would account for 10.8 billion kroner in lost revenues. And not all can claim to be using the website for work purposes, as only 7.8 percent of study respondents said they had customers and business associates among their Facebook friends.
Peter Grønne of Dwarf said it is a serious problem that employees spend so much work time on Facebook.
‘It’s a social media outlet that has nothing to do with work. It’s like sitting and making private calls on the phone for half an hour every day. Employers have to take a stand against this,’ Grønne said.
The Danish Chamber of Commerce is also seriously concerned by the findings, although deputy director Charlotte Vester is not surprised that the usage is so widespread.
‘It affects productivity and has a damaging influence on competitiveness. And it does point to the lack of increase in productivity in Denmark since 2005 being partly as a result of people spending more time on private tasks during working hours,’ Vester said.
Vester recommended that employers create policies outlining how and when employees may use the internet for personal means during the work day.
But one sector that has provided a valid excuse for spending the day on Facebook is the Danish media.
In recent months, both public broadcaster DR and a number of national dailies have advertised positions looking for journalists to work exclusively with social media platforms.
DR News editor Per Bjerre said that the new Facebook employee would be responsible for finding leads and potential stories through social media networks. The journalist would also be responsible for getting DR’s news stories out to a wider audience using social media filters.
‘We want to know what people are talking about that we might not have seen, and we need to study social media to find this out,’ Bjerre said.
He sees the move as a way for the broadcaster to make the TV news more interactive. For example, vox pops on the street could be replaced by viewers’ comments over web cams.
‘They’re logged on because they have an interest in the news, so it could be more interesting than talking to shoppers on the street’.
The Copenhagem Post