Employees Who Waste Company Time are More Productive

Last Updated Jul 9, 2009 3:25 PM EDT

Are your employees wasting valuable work time surfing the Web or updating their Facebook status?
Great -- give them a raise.

Seems that University of Melbourne Professor Brent Coker has done research demonstrating that workers who use the Web for personal chores or entertainment are 9% more productive than those who don't.

The logic? Quick breaks from the steady drone of the workplace boosts concentration levels throughout the day.

But you can tell Spicoli over there ("Hey bud, what's your problem?") that the productivity increase ends if he spends more than 20% of his time on personal Internet excursions.

This alarming fact courtesy of The Daily Stat, from Harvard Business Publishing.

(Waste image by Grahambones, CC 2.0)

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.