Michael Specht

A blog from Australia looking at technology, management, Human Resources (HR) and recruitment.

Internet usage at work makes you productive

April 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments · Branding, Engagement, Productivity ·

Flickr Photo by : dietpoison
(Source: Flickr dietpoison)
An Australian report released yesterday found that employees who “surf the Internet work” are 9% more productivity than those that don’t! The study was conducted by Dr Brent Coker from the Department of Management and Marketing.

The study covered 300 workers and found that 70% engage in what has has termed “workplace Internet leisure browsing” and helps with their concentration.

“It’s the same in the work place. 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 Deacons Social Networking Survey found that a majority of Internet users (91%) felt they use the internet appropriately while at work. It could be said that not only are people who have access to these sites more productive a majority use the tools appropriately. To all those organisations that are blocking sites such as YouTube, Facebook etc due to productivity issues, well you might in fact have it the wrong way around!

Let me push this thinking further.

Trusting and respecting your employees provides a foundation for engagement. With somewhere in the order of 20% of Australian employees actively disengaged and 62% general not engaged. Organisations need to work on engagement, part of this is how to motivate employees and improve employee morale, ok this is not news to most.

What if you trusted your employees that they would ‘behave’ on the internet and allowing them “workplace Internet leisure browsing”?

You might find that not only are they more productive, more engaged, motivated and have a higher morale.  Also don’t forget that companies with highly engaged employees tend to out perform (financial returns) their competitors by 2:1.

Of course there is always a flip side, the study also found some of us are addicted to the internet and as such “workplace Internet leisure browsing” just feeds the addicition. Oh well maybe it is time for some IAA meetings.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Priyanka // Apr 3, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    :) interesting maybe I will conduct a personal study…

  • 2 Marie Adams // Apr 7, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Trusting that your employees will “behave” on the Internet and allowing for “Internet leisure time” is still very difficult for some organizations to do. For those companies who are afraid, set up some standard rules and regulations for Internet use, maybe even hold a training session.

    Let employees know you trust them enough to not take advantage of having free use of the Internet. I truly think most employees realize that their jobs are much more important than checking the weather every 10 minutes. For those who don’t, you know where the door is…