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Study: Web Browsing Improves Productivity

Office managers should encourage employee Web browsing! That's right, according to a new study, surfing the Web actually refreshes tired workers and increases their productivity, compared to other distractions like personal calls, texts or emails.

"Browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function," the authors of the study tell The Wall Street Journal. "Personal emailing, by contrast, was particularly distracting for workers. "The study, "Impact of Cyberloafing on Psychological Engagement," by Don J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G Lim of the National University of Singapore, was presented last week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management.

When browsing the Internet, people "usually choose to visit only the sites they like -- it's like going for a coffee or snack break. Breaks of such nature are pleasurable, rejuvenating the Web surfer," wrote Dr. Lim, in an email to The Journal. By contrast, workers can't control the kinds of email they receive, and reading and replying to each message is "cognitively more demanding, relative to Web surfing, as you need to pay attention to what is said on the email," she added.

Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »

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