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FB & Twitter threat: Social networks cause $10bn damage to Russian economy

FB & Twitter threat: Social networks cause $10bn damage to Russian economy
A new study has estimated time wasted on social networks at the Russian workplace costs the economy $10 billion.

Over 57 million Russians are registered on social networks, and according to a new SomScore survey, users frequented the sites 25.6 minutes per day, or 12.8 hours per month, including while at work.

The heightened activity of Russians on social networks has spilled over into the workplace, and is reportedly costing the economy $10 billion.

In the past year, the Russian economy has lost between 281.7 and 311.5 billion roubles due to workers distracted by social networks and inefficiency, analysts at FBK, a Moscow-based auditing and consulting firm, estimated.

The range of precisely how much money was lost is large, because data varies on size, wages, and many other company-specific details.

"Of course, this is a rough estimate. In order to give exact figures, it is necessary to get detailed audience research of social networks, data on time spent in them, representatives of each segment of the audience, the data on the amount of wages of employees and so on. Nevertheless, our estimate gives an indication of the scale of the losses,” the director of FBK, Igor Nikolaev, told Vedomosti. 

RIA Novosti / Mikhail Fomichev

According to calculations by FBK, in 2012, each ‘over-active’ social networker wasted 53.1 hours on social sites  instead of work tasks.

According to Nikolaev, some companies, to a degree, pay workers to surf the internet. In some industries there is a heavy overlap between work-related tasks and social media sites. For example, in public relations, journalism, marketing, and advertising, companies reach their clients via social media.

If workers take a small break from their task and surf a social media site, they can easily be distracted for up to 20 minutes before returning to their work.

Recreational use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, at the workplace can be monitored by employers, and there have been cases of dismissal of social media addicted employees who spend more time surfing the internet  rather than working on assignments.

The $10 billion wasted by Russians is only a fraction of the estimated $650 billion wasted in productivity in the US.

An infographic by LearnStuff claims active social media users cost their individual company $4,452 per year. The survey showed Americans are distracted every 10 minutes, and take 20 minutes to get back on track.

The same survey found that Americans spend twice as much time on Facebook than they do exercising.