Why Your Employees Are More Productive When They Facebook at Work

Last Updated Jan 12, 2011 11:35 PM EST

Many companies spend gobs of money and effort blocking Web sites like Facebook and YouTube in an attempt to corral employees into working more productivity. For many businesses, the Internet is perceived as little more than a temptation to distraction. Here's a study that shows that the opposite is true.

A study conducted by the University of Melbourne contends that folks who perform reasonable amounts of Web-based goofing off are actually more productive than people who don't.

The study featured 300 workers and found that those who spent time surfing the Web were about 9% more productive than those who did not.

How did people use the Internet? Online shopping and reading news were the most popular, with playing online games and watching video on YouTube also ranking very high.

The study makes sense. Using the Web for short bouts of recreation help employees recharge between tasks. Says Dr. Brent Coker, from Melbourne's Department of Management and Marketing:

"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."
The lesson, of course, is that you can get more value from employees by embracing the Web and allowing reasonable use of the Web. And it'll save you a lot of money on IT costs in the process.