Employees might not literally be asleep on the job, but as far as their employers are concerned, they might as well be: they’re tweeting a massive 700% more now than a year ago, and unless they’re tweeting about company news, that can’t be good for productivity.
Digital security company Palo Alto Networks took a look at traffic data from over 1,600 enterprises over the past year to see how employees were spending their time at work.
The study found sharp increases in the amount of time spent tweeting and updating statuses on company time.
Twitter saw the most overall growth in the past year, with a massive 700 percent increase in tweeting while at work. But Facebook use also increased: it took up 5 percent of bandwidth in October of 2010, and by December 2012 this number had risen to 25 percent.
Twitter’s usage accounts for 20 percent of social networking bandwidth at work overall – but interestingly, only 14 percent of the bandwidth in Britain, which is the country least likely to use Twitter at work.
And another interesting finding of this study was just how people use social media while at work. “Passive social networking”, like reading status updates or browsing photos, is on the decline, while “active social networking”, like playing games, commenting and liking posts, is on the rise. In 2009 passive networking accounted for 75 percent of all social activity; by 2011 that number had dropped to just 39 percent, with active networking rising from less than one percent to 14 percent in that same time period.