Study: Web surfing at work helpful for employees

We know that a lot of you come to Neowin to check out the news and forum on our site while you are at work. Some of you might even feel a bit guilty about that. Well, according to a new study, you shouldn't. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, it suggests that web surfing at work might actually help employees be more productive, especially in comparison to other activities such as sending personal emails or phone calls.

The study, created by researchers at the National University of Singapore, used two groups of people. One was with 96 college students and the other was with 191 adults. Those two groups were each split up into three sub-groups. All three groups were assigned a task to complete and then were given some time off from that task. One sub-group, the control group, was given another task while the second group could do whatever they wanted except surf the Internet. The third group was allowed to use their web browser. Finally, the three groups returned to the original task.

The study showed that the group of people that was allowed to surf the net was more productive at the task than the other two groups. The web surfers also had lower levels of boredom. The researchers suggest that employers should allow their employees to have a limited amount of time at work to surf the net. At the same time, other Internet activities such as sending personal emails should be limited at work.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

This week's highlights in new game releases: August 22-28

Next Story

HP TouchPad is the number one seller on Amazon

16 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

At the end of the day, if you have the right employer, this article means nothing. The right employer will understand you looking at the sports sections during business hours (that isn't a lunch break) if you've been busting your stones on a task or issue for 3-4 hours. 10 mins downtime to clear the head is necessary, especially in a high pressure environment.

It IS TRUE. When I get bored and lack motivation to work, I just surf the net and get lost online for hours. I then missed my annual reports, company reports, p&l reports. I almost lost my job, because missing the deadline. I lost my other two jobs, because I was doing the same thing.
Company SHOULD allowed employees to surf the net. WHY NOT>!!

I bet people are even more productive when surfing the WSJ online edition. ROFL Really, you have to be a moron to think that time spent web surfing is 'productive' time. It's time wasted plain and simple.

If and when layoffs happen, these would be the first idiots to get a pink slip. No reason to let work get in the way of their web surfing.

"....web surfing at work might actually help employees be more productive...."

There must be some really really productive workers at my place then!! :-) ...in addition to all the powerfarmers and citybuilders ;-)

Did they record what site's they visted. If they checked adult content, maybe those hormones make people work harder to perform better for those girls they have in that other little tab.

Peter van Dam said,
Did they record what site's they visted. If they checked adult content, maybe those hormones make people work harder to perform better for those girls they have in that other little tab.

In most countries it isn't allowed to monitor what a user is doing on the internet, unless there is a Security Incident or a real good cause to do so. Besides, adult content is often the first thing that is always blocked, the moment a web-filtering device is introduced.

aL Doom said,
If only my company's security team reads this

Send them an email with the link

And yeah, i'm definitely bored sometimes at work and ready to fall asleep unless i'm browsing Neowin! So i agree with this article

SHoTTa35 said,

Send them an email with the link

And yeah, i'm definitely bored sometimes at work and ready to fall asleep unless i'm browsing Neowin! So i agree with this article


I'd send it to mine, but WSJ is blocked.