More research: browsing for fun at work boosts productivity


My post yesterday about Angry Birds and productivity at work: why distractions can help has generated some good discussion.

Ever a source of great information, Arie Goldshlager has now pointed me to additional research that supports the National University of Singapore study I pointed to in the article.

In this brief video Dr Brent Coker at the Department of Management and Marketing at University of Melbourne presents their research findings on the productivity impact of browsing for fun at work.

In summary, those who surfed the web for fun while at work were 9% more productive than those who weren’t allowed to do so.

The reason is that it helps people to reward themselves and have a break between the many mini-tasks that make up a typical working day. Without that concentration – work performance – rapidly drops.

However for the 14% in the study who suffer ‘internet addiction’ there was shown to be a negative impact on productivity.

Which comes back to the point I made yesterday: managers need to intervene if behaviors are having a negative impact on work. But for most people, productivity is enhanced by having breaks and occasionally browsing some of the many wonderful things that have been created for us on web and mobile.

However I have to acknowledge it’s not always quite as simple as that. I will post soon on my personal battle with ‘Internet addiction’ and its impact on my productivity :-).