Research conducted by Dr. Brent Coker of the University of Melbourne's Department of Management and Marketing revealed that workers who are allowed to surf the Internet for leisure purposes actually are more productive than workers who are blocked from that activity.
Dr. Coker's study found that work time web surfing for pleasure enhances employee productivity by increasing the workers' ability to concentrate. As a result, he suggests that employees should be allowed to surf the Internet while at work for a limited, reasonable amount of their working time – perhaps 20% – as a way for companies to achieve higher levels of staff productivity. This new concept is called WILB, which stands for Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing.
The results of this study, reported on April 2, 2009, may change the way that employers regard web surfing by employees. According to Dr. Coker, employee productivity is increased by about 9% when workers spend some of their time surfing the Internet for leisure purposes. Employers currently spend millions of dollars on software designed to block their staff's ability to access the Internet for non-work purposes, but this may stop after Dr. Coker's announcement. He theorizes that short breaks to surf the Internet increase productivity because they allow an employee's mind to ”zone out” and then “reset itself,” allowing greater concentration when the employee once again turns his or her attention to work. Dr. Coker emphasizes that surfing should only be allowed in moderation in order to reduce the likelihood of Internet addiction, which decreases worker productivity.
Source: Dr. Brent Coker (Web Surfing Increases Productivity)