Businesses lose US$70k a year through staff social networking

16 Aug 2011

The average company with 52 employees pays out US$65,000 per year for non-work-related social media activity, according to a new social media cost calculator developed by a Galway-based company.

WebTitan’s social media cost calculator shows that workers using non-work-related social networking for a mere 20 minutes is the equivalent of paying out US$65,000 or 5pc of the year’s salary bill for non-productive work.

WebTitan, is a division of CopperFasten Technologies, a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland.

Social media is growing exponentially, so the issue of people accessing and using it during work hours is likely to increase and continue to cost companies in terms of productivity and ultimately, financially.

Twitter has grown from 27m Tweets per day in 2010 to 95m – a 250pc increase. Facebook has grown globally from 350m active users, to 640m – half of which log in daily.

Are social media in the workplace costs getting out of control?

Other social media products, such as Flickr, Wikipedia, YouTube and the new Google+ combined with access from mobile devices establishes the pervasiveness of social media.

Finding a way to manage non-work browsing habits, including accessing Facebook at work, Tweeting, watching YouTube videos or any of the numerous other social media activities that can distract employees in their daily working lives is proving challenging for companies.

SpamTitan Technologies’ CEO Ronan Kavanagh says there is a significant cost involved and companies should think about how to stop this getting out of control.

“With companies now using social media to market to customers it is important that social media access is flexibly managed as roles require it, and that the web filtering tool employed to do this is dynamic enough to keep pace with changes within the organisation,” Kavanagh said.

“In the past, companies just had to consider personal use of telephone and subsequently email, now they have a minefield of internet-related access points to consider.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years