From the file of WTH comes an interesting tidbit of research regarding surfing the web while on the job. Like many productivity minded bosses, you might think that such practices should be banned, similar to those ‘spandex’ days at work. In fact, while seeing your staff surfing the web might not make you happy, it could actually increase their productivity.
By now it has been well established that employees who are happy are more engaged and get more done. Yet many employers forbid “time-wasting” activities that might well help people enjoy their workday more, like checking Facebook or posting on Pinterest. But a recent study at the University of Singapore has found that surfing the internet for leisurely, non-business purposes for no more than 20% of a workday actually improves employees’ concentration, relieves boredom and exhaustion, and enables them to produce more than those who take no such breaks.
What Not to Do.
Allowing people to take intermittent breaks from their tasks to poke around the web for 10 minutes or so can help them focus more when they go back to working. Conversely, the study researchers noted that cracking down and dis-allowing surfing may inadvertently increase web browsing as employees invariably view such policies as a form of mistrust.
So boss, perhaps a middle ground is best?