If you’re reading this blog post right now, perhaps it’s because you’re a bit antsy at work and you’re looking for a minor distraction. But in a New York Observer piece this week, David Lat breaks down just how much another popular at-work distraction, Facebook, is costing big law firms.
The hugely popular social-networking site has roughly 40 million users, and the trend has apparently caught on among associates. Lat says a British study finds that visiting Facebook and similar sites during work hours costs U.K. firms more than $260 million a day. That’s right -- a day. Lat puts his math cap on to figure out what the numbers in the U.S. might be. He says that next year AmLaw 200 law firms are expected to hire 10,000 new associates. He estimates that if just half of them spend one billable hour a week on Facebook, and the hourly billing rate is $200, that totals $50 million a year in lost hours.
So basically, if you’re on Facebook at work, you might want to make sure your supervising partner has his or her head buried in a brief somewhere far, far away from your computer.