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If time is money, how much is your screen time worth?

Research from money.co.uk shows that workers spend up to a quarter of every working day on their smartphones

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Up to a quarter of every working day is wasted by workers on their smartphones, new national research has revealed.

The shocking statistic shows employees use company time to surf social media sites and messaging apps instead of working, according to the study by financial comparison experts money.co.uk.

One in five Brits admit they spend up to two hours using their smartphone when they should be working, the nationwide survey has revealed.

It’s even worse among younger staff – with a jaw-dropping 30% of 16-24 year-olds and 25% of 25-34 year-olds admitting they fritter away up to a quarter of their working hours on their favourite smartphone apps.

According to the latest statistics** there are 26 million employees in the UK earning an average of £14.80 per hour. So that two hours spent scrolling by 1 in 5 employees on their smartphones, could cost UK businesses an eye-watering £153m each working day.

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert for money.co.uk said: “Up to two hours is a staggering amount of work time to be spending on messaging apps and personal social media sites during the working day.

“As the standard working day is eight hours long, with an hour of that for lunch, that’s more than a quarter of the working day siphoned by employees on personal fun. That could total more than £153m in cost to UK business every working day.”

Twenty-six percent of UK workers spend up to four hours on their smartphone daily, including work and non-working hours. With a further 16% spending up to six hours on their phone daily, and 10% using their phone up to eight hours per day.

Those most likely to be wasting work time on their smartphone live in London, while the least likely to be frittering away time scrolling through their handsets are from the North-east of England.

Updated 20 April 2023
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About Salman Haqqi

Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.