Increase Productivity by Surfing the Web at Work

Last Updated Sep 12, 2011 2:51 PM EDT

Employees shouldn't be surfing the Web when they're in the office, right? It's just common sense. Some recent studies are turning that bit of management wisdom on its head. Turns out that the most productive workers are the ones who get to read the news and make Amazon purchases from their desk.

Recently, PC World reported on a study out of the University of Singapore, which found that giving office workers the ability to Web surf at work allowed them to "restore resources that are drained as a result of work."

The study featured 98 participants with an average age of 21, divided into three groups. They were charged with performing tasks while one group received no break, another group could do anything it wanted while on break except surf the Web, and a third group was allowed to look at Web pages.

The results showed that the Web surfing group scored the best at the control task. According to the study, the Web surfers also reported that they felt less bored, less tired, and more engaged in the task.

PC World is quick to point out that while some managers might be reluctant to allow employees access to the Web due to security concerns, these issues can be mitigated with security software and effective policies.

This isn't the first time we've pointed out that restrictive Web surfing policies can damage productivity and morale. For example, a few months ago I highlighted another study that shows that taking breaks to browse Facebook improves productivity as well.

Photo courtesy Flickr user risiweb design
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