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Study shows Internet surfing at work increases productivity

April 2, 2009

internet-surfing2A University of Melbourne study released Thursday shows that surfing the Internet during work actually increases concentration levels and helps facilitate a more productive work force.

The study looked at 300 workers, of which 70% used the Internet at work for leisure browsing. The participants were on the Internet for less than 20% of their total time in the office, yet were found to be 9% more productive than those who did not use the Internet.

The study found that taking the time to visit Web sites of personal interest afforded workers a short mental break, which in turn resulted in an increase in total productivity.

The most popular activities the participants used on the Internet ranged from reading online news sites, searching for product reviews, and of course watching videos on YouTube.

The study’s author, Dr. Brent Corker, said on the university’s Web site, “Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days’ work, and as a result, increased productivity.”

It’s ironic that companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on software to prevent workers from visiting Web sites for fear of loss productivity when it turns out that may not necessarily be true.

So perhaps it’s worth printing out a copy of the study and keeping it handy, for the next time you get caught tweeting at work.

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One comment

  1. Nice! I should forward this onto my boss.



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