Online Christmas to cost £154m

Electronic greeting cards, buying presents online, and festive emails will result in 22 million hours lost in UK businesses

Take Christmas, add a related few e-cards, throw in some "general festive chit chat", and we have a recipe for 22 million lost working hours in the UK, costing medium-sized businesses alone around £154m.

So says Open Orchard, a company which predicts that personal email traffic -- already accounting for around a third of all emails -- will rise a further 28 per cent this Christmas.

What's more, the risks of sending out inaccurate contracts, unapproved quotes and competitive information apparently go up at this time of year.

Open Orchard, a BT Group business, said although in 92 per cent of businesses three-quarters of staff have email access, only 73 per cent of companies have an email policy.

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