Surfing the net at work? Well, you’ve been caught ...
A UK survey by a money saving website has revealed that many companies could be paying their employees to go on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites without their knowledge, as adults spend more time on social networks at work than they do at home and in their free time.
Some managers may need to keep a closer eye on their workforce to check they are doing what the get paid to do.
The study came from VoucherCodesPro, after the team behind the site wanted to look into internet usage and habits following a notably high amount of traffic onsite between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, when people would normally be working.
More than 1,000 people answered questions about how they used the internet. All those taking part were adults from the UK and were in full time employment.
When asked to select their working patter, the majority of those asked, 69pc said they worked Monday Friday from around 9am to 5pm.
They were asked to estimate how many hours, per week, they spent on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter when they were supposed to be working; either through a laptop or their mobile phone. This wasn't to include in lunch breaks or in their own allocated free time during the working day, such as at lunch.
The average Briton in full time employment admitted to spending up to 1.5 hours per day on social network sites whilst they were supposed to be working; or 7.5 hours per week, which in most cases is an entire working day. The most common times for switching on to social networks at work was between 10am and 11am and 3pm and 4pm.
When asked about their social networking usage in their free time, the average respondent claimed to spend 45 minutes per day on social networks; or '5.25 hours' in a week. That means that most adults in full time employment spend more time on social networks when they should be working that they do at home or in their free time.
Of all the respondents that did admit to spending more time on social networks when they should have in fact been working, 46pc blamed 'ease of discreet access' through phones and on their computers as the main reason.
George Charles, marketing director at VoucherCodesPro, spoke about the results;
"Particularly for those with office-based jobs, it's not difficult to see why they might get tempted to access their social network profiles when they should be working. Especially with the introduction of things like Tweet Deck and Facebook's push notifications, it's actually harder than ever to switch off.
"What employees do need to be careful of is their boss finding out they aren't working when they thought they were. Perhaps it's best to leave social networking for lunch breaks and after work!"