london_2012March 10 - Employers can expect a sharp dip in productivity to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics, with up to a fifth of Brits planning to follow the games whilst at work, according to research from Global Sports Forum Barcelona, which opens today.

With one in five keen to remain up to date on all the latest from the games, 42 per cent of whom will be doing so via the internet and a third intend to keep in touch on the latest news using their phones, the country is expected to suffer a huge number of lost working days.

The study also looked at anticipated technological developments such as the advent of 3D TV.

The report found that 35 per cent would be using Twitter and Facebook to follow minute-by-minute progress of particular events as well as interacting with fellow fans.

Lucien Boyer, from the Global Sports Forum Barcelona, said: "Whilst the eyes of the world will be on London come July 2012, it seems that the eyes of our workforce will be firmly fixed on computers or mobiles as they try to keep in touch with the breaking news from the Olympics.

"It is during some of the most nail biting sporting moments that social networking sites such as Twitter really come into their own.

"Periods like the hectic football transfer window, and big events such as the Olympics offer a constant stream of news and information which sports fans want to get their hands on as quickly as possible.

"The abundance and range of communications devices, and popularity of social networking sites these days means that sports fans need never be disconnected from the action – whether their bosses like it or not!"

The most concerning finding for employers will be that two in five of us intend to spend more than two hours a day following the Olympics, potentially wasting millions of working hours across the UK.