Newspapers, a 19th century global social networking craze, could cost employers up to $5 billion a year in productivity.

The persistence of the “offline internet” in workplaces has resulted in more time-wasting by employees.

It could also open businesses to criminals and legal liability, analysis by internet security firm TPN says.

The data found if one employee spent an hour a day of company time reading newspapers, it could cost their employer more than $6200 a year.

Projected across the 800,000 businesses with one or more employees in Australia, this one wasted hour a day equalled productivity losses of more than $5 billion a year.

There are more than 2 million newspaper readers across the country, with reportedly more than 100 Australians joining the phenomenon each hour.

With many readers reading during work hours, productivity loss was not the only drawback, TPN CEO Cameron Reilly said.

“Criminals will no doubt be targeting newspaper readers as an attack mechanism because of (its) popularity and power as a platform,” Reilly said.

“It’s only a matter of time before a security loophole is discovered and exploited.”

Many companies were placing blanket bans on newspapers, created by some old rich white guy in 1786.

But account director Joan Smith from marketing communications agency Haypizzle, whose employees were reading newspapers, said the phenomena had reshaped the media landscape and was now regarded as a powerful business tool.

“It’s important for a marketing communications agency to be on the pulse with new and emerging social media platforms such as The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The New York Times,” Ms Smith said.

“Newspapers like The New York Times enable us to connect with our clients, media representatives and our 40 plus staff in our Sydney and Melbourne offices.”

Despite newspaper’s negative side, Reilly said it could also be a boon for business.

“A lot of enlightened employers are encouraging newspaper reading as part of the working experience because it makes people want to be at work longer,” he said.

“There needs to be awareness and education on the part of the employer as to what is the appropriate level of use.”

(This is a satirical post pointing out the level of bullshit being spread about Facebook by sites like – link)