Appointments with clients made by companies through networking are crucial in the current economic climate, a business networking website says.

Organisations which meet with their clients face-to-face are more likely to survive the present difficult conditions, according to 4Networking.

Recent research from Demos shows smart businesses recognise that ‘social’ networking is not neatly separable from ‘professional’ networking.

Brad Burton, managing director of 4Networking, said a ten-minute face-to-face meeting with someone is enough to establish if there is a common ground.

"We are going to see a lot of people losing their businesses but the ones who are out there pointing their businesses, using their marketing, in the right direction will survive," he added.

According to statistics from the Chartered Management Institute, 65 per cent of managers aged 35 or under monitor employee internet access.

The figures also show 59 per cent claim freedom to use the internet is "useful for research".