Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 3, 2009


CNET - A study conducted in Australia found that people who engage in "workplace internet leisure browsing" are more productive than those who don't. Workers who "surf the Internet for fun at work-within a reasonable limit of less than 20 percent of their total time in the office-are more productive by about 9 percent," according to the study's author, Professor Brent Coker, from the University of Melbourne's Department of Management and Marketing.

The reason that WILB increases productivity, he said, is that "people need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration. Think back to when you were in class listening to a lecture; after about 20 minutes your concentration probably went right down, yet after a break your concentration was restored.". . .

But this doesn't apply to everyone. Approximately 14 percent of the sample showed signs of Internet addiction and, for them, Web surfing can decrease productivity. The more they surfed at work, the less productive they were. . .

The study found that 70% of the 300 workers surveyed engage in WILB. The report was released in Melbourne on April 2nd when it was still April 1st in the United States. In an email, Dr. Coker assured me that it's not an April fools joke.


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