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Study Shows Personal Net Surfing Increases Work Productivity

insightful-linkI love it when data emerges that validates my hunches.

People who surf the internet while at work are more productive. Gotta love it.

“People who do surf the Internet for fun at work – within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office – are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t.”

The productivity arises from our need to zone out (take a break) every once in a while in order to restore our concentration. It’s simply not possible to focus all of the time.

Seems obvious, but some employers are (now irrationally) concerned that they’re not getting their money’s worth out of employees who are not fully focused on work every moment they’re “on the clock.” I’ve long counseled that this attitude foments an adversarial posture with the very people on whom you depend for maximum engagement.

With one set of policies (e.g. no personal internet use) you communicate that you don’t trust them. Then you turn around and ask them to give 110%, go the extra mile for a client or contribute to brainstorming restructuring ideas, and you wonder why they hold back.

No matter how you feel about personal internet usage at work, the facts about its impact are emerging. Can you turn this information into a learning opportunity?

Click here for the University of Melbourne article.

2 Responses to “Study Shows Personal Net Surfing Increases Work Productivity”

  1. Bradley J. Moore Says:

    I guess it will replace the cigarette break? As long as everyone knows when and where it is appropriate. Like, Fantasy Football? That can get out of hand. Porn? Yes, we’ve caught a few of those too. But a little bloggiing here and there, intenet shopping or planning your next vacation, no problem.

  2. Karl Edwards Says:

    You’ve got a good point. I’ve never heard that a porn break helped restore anyone’s concentration!

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