Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Freedom To Surf: The Productive Benefits Of Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing

Freedom to Surf:
Workers More Productive
If Allowed to Use the Internet for Leisure

Media Release, Thursday 2 April 2009
University of Melbourne

Surfing the net at work for pleasure actually increases our concentration levels and helps make a more productive workforce, according to a new University of Melbourne study.

Dr Brent Coker, from the Department of Management and Marketing, says that workers who engage in ‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB) are more productive than those who don’t.

“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,” he says.


According to the study of 300 workers, 70% of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB. Among the most popular WILB activities are searching for information about products, reading online news sites. [snip]

The attraction of WILB, according to Dr Coker, can be attributed to people’s imperfect concentration. “People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration. [snip]

" .... . Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days work, and as a result, increased productivity.”

However Dr Coker says that it is important such browsing is done in moderation, as internet addiction can have the reverse effect.


“WILB is not as helpful for ... those who behave with internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without.”

Multimedia Available

Broadcast Quality Video (approx 500mb+)

Dr Brent Coker Discussing Study

Note: an FTP client is recommended to download this footage.

>>>You Tube Video "Dr Brent Coker - 'Freedom To Surf'"<<<


An audio (MP3) file of this interview is available at


Dr Brent Coker /University of Melbourne / Dept of Management and Marketing




Link To Significant Portion of The Study Report

Freedom to Surf: The Productive Benefits of Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB)


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