In a research report, “Impact of Cyberloafing on Psychological Engagement,” to be presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management (San Antonio, August 14-16) Don J. Q. Chen and Vivien K. G. Lim of the National University of Singapore deliver a message about the good and bad of “cyberloafing” which includes personal web browsing, texting/chatting, and email.

The report discusses the results of two studies, one experimental and one a survey.

The experimental study found that “cyberloafing” in the place of conventional (non-internet) rest time between tasks increased productivity by 16% — and by over 39% over workers who merely changed tasks and took no breaks at all.

In the second study, a survey of randomly selected alumni of a business school, the participants were asked to differentiate between surfing and email while discussing their “psychological engagement with their work, and their positive and negative affect, or mental state”.

The findings of this study include:

– Amount of Internet browsing is significantly and positively related to such upbeat mental states as excited, interested, alert, and active, and inversely related to such negative mental states as distressed, fearful, hostile, and jittery.

– Amount of e-mailing activity, in distinct contrast, is significantly related to negative mental states but not to upbeat ones.

UPI reported on the paper under the headline Cyberloafing, the pause that refreshes. Just don’t check e-mail. on Sunday, August 14, 2011.

2 Responses to “Browsing the internet increases productivity & positivity; personal email decreases both! #noemail”
  1. laura says:

    Fantastic! I guess enterprises will now rush to remove the filters they put on their Internet access to prevent employees from cyberloafing. LOL

  2. Paul says:

    In theory, yes the enterprises should. In practice, the employees are surfing the net, chatting etc on slower connections on their unblocked phones ;-> Most companies are still managing from Theory X instead of Theory Y and have unhappy less productive employees are a result.

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