Facebook, YouTube sneak peeks during work ‘boost office productivity’

April 2nd, 2009 - 12:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Facebook Melbourne, April 2 (ANI): A new study has offered employees the best excuse to check out their Facebook or Orkut accounts during work hours: turning to social networking sites or general Internet surfing for breaks leads to better office productivity.

According to Dr Brent Coker, from Melbourne University, staff members who surf the web for leisure, called ‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB), yield better results on the work front than those who don’t.

“People who do surf the internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20 per cent of their total time in the office - are more productive by about nine per cent than those who don’t,’ News.com.au quoted him as saying.

“Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos on YouTube, using social networking sites like Facebook or shopping online under the pretence that it costs millions in lost productivity. However that’s not always the case,’ he added.

Coker, from the Department of Management and Marketing, examined 300 workers and found that 70 per cent drew upon WILB for activities including reading news sites, shopping, playing online games and watching high-ranking YouTube movies.

Coker continued: “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. It’s the same in the workplace.”

But the expert also included a warning saying too much time spent leisure surfing could overturn results.

He added: “Approximately 14 per cent of internet users in Australia show signs of internet addiction - they don’t take breaks at appropriate times, they spend more than a ‘normal’ amount of time online, and can get irritable if they are interrupted while surfing.

“WILB is not as helpful for this group of people - those who behave with internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without.’ (ANI)

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