Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter have cost the British economy a whopping 14 billion pounds a year in lost work time, a study said.

The study pointed out that two million employees spend an hour a day on social networking sites and over half the workforce make use of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or YouTube for half an hour a day when they are supposed to be working.

The Sun Friday reported that only 14 percent admitted the sites made them less productive while 10 percent said it made them do more.

Job sites network surveyed a 1,000 people, a third of whom said businesses should ban staff from using the websites.

Managing director Lee Fayer said: “People spending over an hour a day in work time on Facebook are seriously hampering companies' efforts to boost productivity, which is more important than ever given the fragile state of our economy.”

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