So here you thought gaming was something to hide at work. Now comes new research to suggest that those who play online using the seven below activities actually exhibit higher productivity than those who don't.
The research comes from Dr Brent Coker of the Department of Management and Marketing over at the University of Melbourne. "People who do surf the Internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office - are more productive by about 9% than those who don't,"
Not just any activity though will help boost your productivity. You need to engage those activities he considers ‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing' (WILB) activities. Looking over here you can see the online activities that make up WILB. Sorry folks, porn wasn't one of those. The seven that did constitute good playing are (sorted from greatest productivity increase to least productivity increase):
1. Reading non-work blogs (including Twitter/Facebook)
2. Watching online media (e.g. YouTube)
3. Searching for information about hobbies
4. Writing personal blogs (including Twitter/Facebook)
5. Reading online news websites
6. Playing online games
7. Checking/writing personal emails from a non-work email account
At face value, I can see Coker's logic. We've long known the positive value of power naps; why should engaging in enjoyable activities be any worse? These activities also have added benefit of enriching us, letting us relate better to co-workers and potential sales prospects. I mean, who would you rather hang out with the guy who only knows market stats or the one who can talk to you about the market stats, fine wine and the Giants? (Raider fans need not respond.)
It'll be interesting to see what sort of practical impact Coker's research will have on the industry. Can you just imagine an employee arguing for a promotion:
"Boss, I deserve a promotion?
"Well, I've watched 23 minutes of You Tube, Twittered for 32 minutes and wrote about how I hate this company on my blog for 18 minutes. Oh, I also grew product shipments by 6.5 percent.
Umm, err, maybe not. But seriously. Does your company have a policy around personal Internet use? Let me know below and if you think Coker's research might help change that policy.
If you've reviewed Coker's research. I think we all would particularly like to hear your thoughts. I for one would like to know whether my Stargate Universe gazing is helping to improve my blogging.