British employers are the strictest in Europe when it comes to letting staff do a spot of social networking at work.

According to a new survey, many UK businesses are reluctant to allow time out via social networking.

The survey found that 35% still have official restrictions on accessing social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.

A further 15%, while not feeling strongly enough to monitor it, still "frown upon" employees catching-up with friends in this way.

Spain has the second biggest ban on social networking with 19% of companies imposing official restrictions.

The survey found that 26% of workers believe that social networking helped to give them a healthy work-life balance.

The survey, produced by mobile operator 3, says more and more people are turning to their mobile phone to access services like Facebook.

Earlier this week Vodafone launched a new application that allows users to text from their Facebook pages.

Vodafone Connect to Friends lets Facebook users send texts and picture messages without having to switch from PC to mobile by installing the "Vodafone Connect to Friends" application to their Facebook profile.