Smoke or Surf


For some time I have debated with many clients their policies of banning access to Social Networks and Media Sites at work.

They are happy for their people to Smoke breaks – which waste time and lead to more ill health and lost time.  They don’t insist on other healthy practices (exercise, drinking water etc ..) to avoid illness… but they ban Facebook.

Probably becasuse they dont get it!!!

Now there is a term for it “workplace Internet leisure browsing,” (WILB) and evidence that it is good for productivity

Now a recent University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not

Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said on the University’s website WILB, helped to improve’ concentration.

“People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration,”

“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,” he said.

They studied the habits  of 300 workers, and found that 70 percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB.

As expected they were searching for information about products, reading online news sites, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube.

So whilst companies are spending money blocking access or implementing bans they may be missing productivity and they are certainly missing the opportunity for their people to develop Social Networking and Media skills that can benefit the business in mnay ways.

There is a possible downside though as Mr C said “Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without,” .

So I will now send to my clients another email .. this time backed by research … but I am sure once again deaf ears will prevail.