Can Twitter, Facebook and YouTube make employees more productive? A new study shows that workers who use the Internet at work for personal reasons are about nine times more productive compared with those who do not.
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Caught Twittering or on Facebook at work?
It'll make you a better employee, according to an Australian study that
shows surfing the Internet for fun during office hours increases
The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the
Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more
productive that those who do not.
Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and
marketing, said "workplace Internet leisure browsing," or WILB, helped
to sharpened workers' concentration.
"People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration,"
Coker said on the university's website (www.unimelb.edu.au/)
"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," he said.
According to the study of 300 workers, 70 percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in 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.
"Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from
watching videos, using social networking sites or shopping online under
the pretence that it costs millions in lost productivity," said Coker.
"That's not always the case."
However, Coker said 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," he said.
(Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Valerie Lee)
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