We spend 45 minutes per hour on social media while at work according to new research

A new survey has revealed the true extent of what seems to be becoming a serious productivity problem in the workplace.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Research and communications agency We are Flint say that 84 percent of adults in the UK use social media, and two-thirds of adults use it every day.

It ran a survey, asking 2,092 online UK adults aged over 18 in August 2016 via online panel survey on their daily use of social media.

YouTube is the most popular platform in terms of use at 85 percent with Facebook closely behind at 78 percent.

We use Facebook daily (59 percent), WhatsApp (28 percent), and YouTube (27 percent).

While reports abound about young people moving away from Facebook, in absolute terms it remains the second most popular platform among 18-29-year-olds (92 percent), behind YouTube (96 percent).

We dip in and out of social media sites to catch up on what are friends are getting up to during the day. But a new survey from People Per hour has revealed that some of us are spending most of our working day on social sites.

Five percent of men and 11 percent of women spend over 45 minutes per hour using social media sites at work. This means that means that in the average eight hour day, they only spend around two hours working.

Facebook is the cause of the most lost working hours. 54 percent of workers post regular Facebook updates from the office. A further one in three (29 percent) admitted to having sent a Snapchat message while actually in a business meeting.

Although social media is fast becoming the procrastination tool of choice, it is not the only way that workers waste their time.

Another tempting distraction in the form of online shopping is regularly indulged in by workers in the UK, the traditional pastimes of gossiping, snacking, napping, and cigarette or 'vape' breaks also fill many an hour.

Despite all of this, only 5 percent of workers said that they had received a warning regarding social media use at work.

PeoplePerHour Founder and CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou said: "As much as we'd all like it, no manager ever expects their entire workforce to be fully productive for the whole day, but a loss of six hours in every eight is unacceptable by anyone's standards."

Some social media platforms are significantly more likely to be used in urban areas, notably WhatsApp (13-point difference compared to rural areas), Instagram (10-point difference), Pinterest and Snapchat (both 7-point difference).

While there is an indistinguishable difference between men and women in terms of overall usage, women are 6 percentage points more likely to use social media on a daily basis (76 percent versus 70 percent).

The biggest difference in platform usage is Pinterest, with an 18 percentage point difference in favour of women.

If only five percent of us are being warned about our social media use, the rest of us are getting very clever at concealing our social media activity at work.

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