Leisure Browsing Increases Productivity: Study

leisure-browsingPeople who engage in “Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing” (WILB) are more productive than those who don’t, a study showed in Australia. The study found that 70% of the 300 workers surveyed engage in “WILB.”

Those workers who are surfing the Internet for fun at work place–within a limited period or less than 20 percent of their total time, are more productive by about 9 percent,” according to the study’s author, Professor Brent Coker, from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Management and Marketing.

The reason for the productivity increase by “WILB”, he said, is that “people need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration. Think back to when you were in class listening to a lecture–after about 20 minutes your concentration probably went right down, yet after a break your concentration was restored.” A short break, such as surfing the Internet, “enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a day’s work, and as a result, increased productivity.”

But this is not applied to everyone. About 14 percent of the sample showed signs of Internet addiction and, for them, Web surfing can decrease productivity. The more they surfed at work, the less productive they were. The reason for this, he said, “is because of an ‘urge’ to search the Internet. “Those that aren’t addicted, don’t have this urge and they surf the Internet as a reward.”

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