It has officially been found that “cyberloafing”, or browsing the web at work, can actually be beneficial for employees to work optimally, according to a study conducted by the National University of Singapore.
In fact, surfing the internet may be better than texting friends or sending personal emails when it comes to enhancing productivity, according to the study Impact of Cyberloafing on Psychological Engagement by Don J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G. Lim.
“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.
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.
Lim added, “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 do it more.
The researched concluded by encouraging employers to allow a certain amount of time for staff to browse the web as it actually enhances productivity and helps them concentrate better at work.