Hugh Pickens writes: "Dr Brent Coker, professor of Department of Management and Marketing at Melbourne University, says employees who surf the internet for leisure during working hours are more productive than those who don't. A study of 300 office workers found 70 per cent of people who use the internet at work engage in Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB). "People who do surf the internet for fun at work — within a reasonable limit of less than 20 per cent of their total time in the office — are more productive by about nine per cent than those who don't," said Coker. "People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration. Think back to when you were in class listening to a lecture — after about 20 minutes your concentration probably went right down, yet after a break your concentration was restored. It's the same in the workplace." However Coker warns that excessive time spent surfing the internet could have the reverse effect. "Approximately 14 per cent of internet users in Australia show signs of internet addiction — they don't take breaks at appropriate times, they spend more than a `normal' amount of time online, and can get irritable if they are interrupted while surfing. Those who behave with internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without.""
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