Tedious online admin could be costing the UK economy £23 billion each month due to employees stuck doing necessary but time-consuming research, rather than devoting time to producing or creating more valuable work.

Almost a fifth of the workforce dedicate over a quarter of the average working day to researching and collating information from the web, while a further 20 percent spend an hour a day collating information from online searches, according to a new report by online content curation platform Wakelet.

This is leading to individual SMEs losing an average of £4,200 a month and larger businesses wasting over £100,000 on average.

Workers are being prevented from completing their jobs quickly due to the excessive time it takes to search for relevant information on Google, from looking for directions and contact details and researching statistics and facts for reports and presentations, and even checking spelling and grammar.

Fruitless searching affects people in a range of job roles; the industries most adversely affected by time consuming online admin include marketing, business services, retail and IT.

The study also revealed that 38 percent of people feel they spend too long on these online research tasks and 32 percent have felt that time consuming admin pushed them to want to look for another job.

Jamil Khalil, CEO of Wakelet said: “Researching and collating information is a key part of many roles, but at the moment the process can be hugely tedious, made harder by the fact that you have to sift through masses of information on Google to get to the things that are relevant to you.

“Without people realising, this process is costing businesses huge amounts in staff hours and decreased productivity. Having access to information already curated by a human, not an algorithm, could hugely speed up this process. Wakelet gives people that opportunity, by organising all the information Google has to offer in a way that creates a positive and useful user experience.”

Wakelet allows users to curate different types of online media to create bespoke, creative and contextual collections that can be saved and shared. Rather than the continual process of searching through swathes of irrelevant information, people can find the information they need already collated by other users.

Wakelet currently has over a million individual and business users including Harvard University, FC Barcelona, Airbus, Experian, Yad Vashem and Atlanta Hawks.