Thursday, 02 Apr, 2009 Science

Watching YouTube Videos During Office Hours Increases Productivity


Researchers found that employees, who frequently watch YouTube videos, visit Facebook or shop online while at the office during the working day, may, in fact, register more productivity.

According to Dr Brent Coker from the Melbourne University' Department of Management and Marketing, employees, who enjoy surfing the internet for relaxation or entertainment, prove to be more productive than workers who don't. It is worth mentioning that the process of surfing the internet during office hours is called "Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing" (WILB).

The researcher carried out a study of 300 workers and discovered that 70 percent regularly use the Internet to surf for leisure.

"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 9 percent than those who don't," said Dr Coker.

He says that a lot of companies spend millions on specific software that blocks their workers from using different social networking services, doing online shopping and/or watching clips on YouTube. Companies doing so back their decision with the theory that leisure during working hours costs millions of dollars in lost productivity, reports

Some of the most popular activities of Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing were found to be reading online news websites, looking for product information, watching videos on YouTube and playing online games. Dr Coker says that employees need to free their mind to get their concentration back.

"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," said Dr Coker. The same works during office hours, he said. Making short breaks, helps mind rest itself, which leads to a better concentration level for a day's work, and makes one's productivity level increase. At the same time the researcher warned that spending too much time on the Internet can decrease productivity.

Some people spend more than "normal" time on the internet and they can get irritated if interrupted, which is why WILB might not be the best strategy for these people to increase productivity. Workers with internet addiction show lower level of productivity than those without.

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