Surfing The Web At Work Can Actually Make You More Productive

Surfing The Web At Work Can Actually Make You More Productive

Perhaps you’ve always suspected that browsing the web at work was good for you (at least for your sanity). If so, your suspicions have been confirmed. The Wall Street Journal reports that new studies show web surfing increases workers’ productivity.

Photo remixed from an original by lululemon athletica.

The studies were conducted by National University of Singapore researchers Don J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G Lim. They gave students a task of highlighting the letter “e” in sample text for 20 minutes, then in the next 10 minutes a control group of students were given a different simple task. Meanwhile, another group was allowed to do everything except surf the web during that break, and a third group could surf the web. Then all three groups went back to highlighting the letters.

The result, as you’ve guessed by now, is that the web surfers:

were significantly more productive and effective at the tasks than those in the other two groups and reported lower levels of mental exhaustion, boredom and higher levels of engagement.

Web surfing serves as a kind of rest and restorative activity, “like going for a coffee or snack break,” Dr Lim said.

So don’t feel guilty if you do browse the web at work (in moderation, of course). It may be part of the reason why you’re effective at your job.

Web Surfing Helps at Work, Study Says [Wall Street Journal]


  • Moderation is the key and it is hard to tell users what the right amount is. At my company, we say an hour a day is enough. We use bluecoats to monitor usage and then after a user has hit an hour of “personal” usage (i.e they browser website not categorised as work related) then non work related sites are blocked.

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