Is The Internet The Productivity Drain We Think It Is?

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5269295051_31a102e6ae_m_facebookAccording to recent research, not really. It isn’t any more of a drain on than the same old things we did before the .

That’s not the only surprising thing you may find in this article:

The Internet Isn’t What’s Distracting Us The Most At Work

On what we waste the most time doing in the office:

The most common ways workers reported spending time at work not working, in order of which activity takes up the most time:

  1. Taking breaks to visit the office kitchen/water cooler/break room (other than for lunch)

  2. Going to the bathroom

  3. Participating in small talk/gossip with coworkers

  4. Corresponding (phone, email, text, social media) with family members

  5. Surfing the web/online personal errands (e.g., paying bills online, online shopping, etc.)

  6. Corresponding (phone, email, text, social media) with non-work-related friends

  7. Using social media for non-work-related reasons

  8. Watching TV (including mobile and computer)

So, basically, we still waste time at work by gethering around the watercooler and gossiping. Sure there may be a few stops to our email and social media, but they aren’t the huge productivity drains that worries about.

Besides, those break are probably good for us.

Other research has found that taking breaks can actually enhance work. A recent study from Baylor University found that when the employees stopped working on the task at hand and refocused on a preferred activity such as lunch, coffee, catching up on personal email, or socializing with coworkers, they experienced greater recovery.

Studies have also indicated that socializing at work leads to friendships that can increase our happiness as much as earning $100,000 more per year and talking about personal topics makes employees more collaborative, productive and accountable.

So, if we aren’t wasting that much time on the internet, and the breaks we do take are actually helping us be more productive, why are there so many in management and the media beating the drum for lost productivity due to the darned internet?

Could it be that management is simply ascribing their own behavior to those who work for them?

Another notion BambooHR’s survey debunked is that the rank and file weren’t the biggest offenders of taking breaks at work. “Across the board, senior leadership indulges more,” the survey authors write, than workers in entry level, intermediate, and middle management positions.

And really, doesn’t this just prove that everyone who is loudly proclaiming “everyone” is doing something bad, is probably the one doing it?

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