“Cyber-loafing”, or browsing the web at work, can actually be beneficial to productivity, according to a recent study conducted by the National University of Singapore.
Surfing the internet may be better than texting friends or sending personal e-mails when it comes to enhancing productivity, according to the study. “People usually choose to visit only the sites that they like - it's like going for a coffee or snack break. Breaks of [this] nature are pleasurable, rejuvenating the web surfer,” explained Dr Lim, one of the authors.
Replying to e-mails on the other hand, is more mentally taxing. “Firstly, the compelling need to reply to a received e-mail impedes employees' psychological engagement by affecting their ability to concentrate," the authors reported. “Secondly, when employees reply to these e-mails, they experience resource depletion, negative affect and workflow disruption.”
The research also found that excessive monitoring of their web browsing makes employees surf more often, and for longer periods of time. Maybe they’re searching for new jobs.
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