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Science Thursday, August 18th 2011 at 2:39 pm

New Study Suggests Wasting Time Online Boosts Worker Productivity

You know how you have browser-based games or listicles about your favorite celebrity breakups open in your browser window right now, but have mastered the art of alt+tabbing back to your spreadsheet when your supervisor walks by? Well, according to a new study, you may just want to leave that session of Civ World up and running next time your supervisor hovers around your desk, because wasting time on the Internet may actually increase your productivity.

A report from the National University of Singapore claims that wasting time on the Internet is an important restorative function, which, if you have ever taken a break from, for example, studying or homework, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. At the annual Academy of Management meeting, researchers said that “cyberloafing” can mentally refresh workers better than chatting, texting, or sending personal emails. Oddly, the study also found that bosses who check up on what their employees are doing on the Internet too frequently actually cause their workers to mess around on the Internet more than if said workers had Internet freedom with less snooping.

Though the study may seem surprising at first, it actually makes perfect sense. Working for eight or ten hours straight will just drive a person crazy and want them to get their work done, rather than get it done well. So, next time you’re about to get fired for playing Heroes of Newerth or Elements at work, tell your boss you’re just taking one for the team and becoming a better employee.

(via Los Angeles Time)

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