Monday, April 6, 2009

9% more productive

(Reuters) An Australian study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not. Yes, more, not less!

Brent Coker from the Department of Management and Marketing studied 300 workers, 70 percent of them use the Internet at work for leisure browsing. He coined the term "workplace Internet leisure browsing," or WILB. Among the most popular WILB activities are searching for information about products, reading online news sites, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube. "People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration," Coker said. Occasionally checking out the web is like taking short and unobtrusive breaks. That "enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a day's work, and as a result, increased productivity," he said.

It makes sense, I think. That's why schools are having 45-50 min class sessions and 10-15 min breaks between them. And the subject is changing every hour, or sometimes every other hour. But in the office, there are no official breaks. You are supposed to work continuously otherwise you'll be considered as a sneaky lazy sloth and eventually lose your job. Everybody is so afraid to even leave the seat and relax for a little bit...

Of course, the study looked at people who browsed in moderation, or were on the Internet for less than 20 percent of their total time in the office. "Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without," Coker said.

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