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article imageStudy: Web surfing increases work productivity

By Nikki Weingartner     Apr 3, 2009 in Business
Looking to boost your bottom line? It may be time to open up the employee browser. An Australian study has linked leisurely Internet surfing to increased work productivity.
According to a study out of the University of Melbourne, the Internet is good for your work health -- it enables workers to take a break and gives their mind a rest from the mundane.
The study of 300 workers found that those who spend moderate time at work doing things such as researching products, checking out news, playing games and watching YouTube, within a reasonable time limit of less than 20 percent of their total office time, were seen as having about 9 per cent more productivity than those who did not.
This could be due to study lead, Dr Brent Coker, from the Department of Management and Marketing, citing:
People who do surf the Internet for fun at work.
In general, people need a brain rest in order to refocus and often times, a dabble on the Net provides just enough time to work it out. Coker was careful to exclude addicts from the beneficial category, explaining that if not done in moderation, it could have the opposite effect. Coker even cited in the release an Australian statistic that somewhere between 1 in 6/7 Internet surfers are actually addicts:
Approximately 14% of Internet users in Australia show signs of Internet Addiction – they don’t take breaks at appropriate times, they spend more than a ‘normal’ amount of time online, and can get irritable if they are interrupted while surfing.
This may also undermine the high costs spent by corporations on software targeted at blocking sites such as Facebook and eBay in an attempt to boost productivity.
So for those at work grabbing a news break, this could be a good pat on the back. If you are one of the many micro managers out their threatening jobs because of mild bouts of Internet surfing during appropriate times, well, that plummeting bottom line may be your own fault.
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