Facebook is becoming a problem for employers at offices in India, as employees have started spending so much time on the social networking site that it is beginning to affect productivity, a new survey has revealed.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) have found in their survey that office staff on average spend an hour a day on sites like Facebook, resulting in a loss of productivity measuring 12.5 per cent.

The study noted: “Close to 12.5 per cent of productivity of human resource in corporate sector is misappropriated each day since a vast majority of them while away their time accessing social networking sites during the office hours.” Seemingly, the workers use Orkut, Facebook, Myspace and Linkedin for “romancing”. “As a matter of fact, the growing use of browsing sites can be dangerous for overall productivity and IT companies have already installed software to restrict its use,” the BBC News quoted Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat as saying.

As part of the study, a total of 4,000 employees between the ages of 21 and 60 from different cities in India including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai (Bombay), Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Kanpur, were questioned.

It was observed that nearly half of office employees accessed Facebook during work time. Moreover, four in every 10 workers built their entire Orkut or Facebook profile at office.

Also, 83 percent of the employees think there is no harm surfing at work during office hours.

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