Surfing the internet can make you more productive

In news that will have Facebook junkies frantically clicking “I like”, research from the University of Melbourne has found that taking breaks to surf the net at work can actually make you more productive.

Well, unless you are an internet addict, in which case it will make you less productive.

The study by Dr Brent Coker from the Department of Management and Marketing survey 300 workers, 70% of whom engage in Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing. They found that those who rewarded themselves, upon completing a task, with a little bit of WILB were 9% productive than those who don’t. 

Unfortunately for those who can’t bear to be separated from their Facebook, Twitter or email, your productivity is lowered by breaks because you get irritable when your precious internet browsing is interrupted. (I have no idea why I’ve written this in second person)

It seems to support what we already know about working effectively:

  • break activities down into short tasks
  • reward yourself upon completion of task
  • make the reason for doing the task more compelling than not doing it.
I might go reward myself with a cup of tea and wee spot of email checking now…