It's Friday. You're taking a break from whatever it is that you should be doing. You maintain that your browse through the aisles of CMSWire are work-related and not frivolous internet surfing.
As web designers, information architects, usability experts, we spend lots of time surfing the Internet looking for ideas. Be them online shopping or social networking sites, we chock it up as market research and bosses be damned, we're working!
Who would have guessed that we were right?
Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing
A study released by the University of Melbourne even suggests that surfing the web while at work makes us more productive. People who surf the Internet for fun at work - less than 20% of their total time in the office - are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t.
They call it Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB), which sounds much more intellectual than it actually is, and it is effective because “people need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration."
The study surveyed 300 workers and found that 70% of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB. Among the most popular WILB activities are searching for information about products and reading online news sites. Playing online games was the fifth most popular, while watching YouTube movies was seventh.
Browse with Moderation
Dr. Brent Coker, from the Department of Management and Marketing stresses moderation, noting that spending all day online for unrelated work tasks is not good for productivity. However, he maintains that "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.'
All of this comes as more a relief than reprieve. Afterall, 62% of American adults use the Internet at work, 27% of them constantly. With more than 11% reading blogs or blogging, and goodness knows how many twittering, the world's workforce can finally take a deep breath and maximize our windows rather than feverishly trying to hide them when the boss walks by.