It seems that employees in the UK have been spending just a wee bit too much on social networks while they are on the clock.  If the numbers are to be believed, there are billions of dollars being lost per year while you tend your farm in FarmVille.

According to Reuters, British employment website MyJobGroup.co.uk conducted a survey of 1,000 employees across the nation, and found that about six percent of employees spent an hour or more a day on sites such as Facebook during their time on the clock.  Estimates indicate this would extrapolate out to 2 million people across all of Britain, and work out to 14 billion pounds ($22.16 billion) in lost productivity. Lee Fayer, Managing Director of Myjobgroup.co.uk, said, “Our results clearly show that UK workers are spending increased time whilst at work on social media networks, which, left unchecked, could have negative repercussions on the productivity of many companies across the country.”

Facebook LogoI’ve always found surveys like this a bit suspect when it comes to putting a dollar amount to how much “productivity” is lost, but if people are really spending that much time on social networks while at work, than yes, there is definitely some money being lost by companies.

Of course the simplest solution is for companies to block access to the sites, so I’m not quite sure why people are complaining about this.  If you have Internet access in your office, than surely you have a way of blocking certain sites and services.  If Facebook has something to do with the way you run your business, than, yes, you do have a problem, but if not, just simply shut off access and be done with it.

The survey also found that 68 percent of employees do want some form of access to sites like Facebook and Twitter while at work, while the remaining third want it banned.

The number that killed me was that ten percent felt having access to these sorts of sites somehow boosted their productivity.  I’ll leave it for all of you to figure out exactly how that would work.

What say you?  Do you ever sneak on to social sites while at work?  If so, how much time do you think you spend per day?