03 April 2009

All Right, Fascist Administrators--Give Me Back My Facebook!

About a year ago, I was shocked to discover that the Army had blocked Facebook on its servers. After a few months of being able to surf Facebook by simply typing https://www.facebook.com, the admins caught on to that, too, and I went to work, depressed and Facebook-less.

Joke’s on the admins. Far from the popular misconception of employees wasting time on Facebook, a new study indicates that Facebook surfing actually improves productivity. Or maybe it proves that the people who are more likely to use Facebook are more computer-savvy and thus more productive on the computer. Regardless:

The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.

Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said "workplace Internet leisure browsing," or WILB, helped to sharpened workers' concentration.

"People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration," Coker said on the university's website (www.unimelb.edu.au/)

"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," he said.

According to the study of 300 workers, 70 percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB.

The article does conclude with one caveat, though:

However, Coker said the study looked at people who browsed in moderation, or were on the Internet for less than 20 percent of their total time in the office.

"Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without," he said.

And as we all know, that doesn’t apply to me. Right?

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