Business development · 2 August 2017

WhatsApp or Facebook? Britain’s top office distractions revealed

Social media apps are distracting some workers
Just six per cent of office workers feel productive for the duration of a working day, with as many as 84 per cent claiming top office distractions led them to procrastinate for more than 30 minutes, new research has found.

A fifth of UK workers admitted to procrastinating for more than two hours a day, while some claimed to procrastinate for as much as six hours on some days.

The results of a poll from Fleximize, an alternative small business lender, revealed that, with some 21.18m people working nine-to-five office jobs every day, the UK as a whole could be losing as much as nine million hours of work each day thanks to office distractions.

Social media platforms were overwhelmingly found to be the top office distractions, and reason why many of us cannot concentrate at work, with instant messaging apps now more prominent than ever.

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WhatsApp has become the most distracting platform, as the research found that 72 per cent of workers used the tool to communicate with friends at some point during the average working day. Facebook came a close second, causing 70 per cent of workers to procrastinate.

Amongst the other social platforms found to be distracting people whilst at work were Instagram (49 per cent), Twitter (41 per cent) and Snapchat (30 per cent).

Top office distractions

Social platform Proportion of workers using platform to chat at work
WhatsApp 72 per cent
Facebook 70 per cent
Instagram 49 per cent
Twitter 41 per cent
Snapchat 30 per cent

Commenting on the survey results, founder and managing partner at Fleximize, Peter Turvey, said: it’s ironic that social media, which has become an essential tool for businesses, is at the same time proving a drain on employee productivity.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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