You know that funny video your sister sent to your work email?

The University of Melbourne in Australia released a study in 2009 which claimed that workplace internet leisure browsing (or WILB) increased overall workday productivity by 9%. The study specified that this increase correlated to individuals who browsed the internet for 20% of their day – to recognize the difference between the average user, and an addicted user (whose results did not reflect a productivity increase).

As an employer, that might sound like a scary prospect. Who would let their employees browse whatever site they want, whenever they want? The truth is (and the study supports this), a loyal employee will not abuse the privilege, but use it as a tool to refresh and re-sharpen his or her focus.

Anyone can agree that intense monitoring generates paranoia and kills morale; providing a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere allows for creative problem solving, nurtures positive relationships between coworkers, and increases the chances that your employees will consider your business after hours in a positive way.

Don’t be afraid to monitor your employees’ browsing habits. Just be sure to use the information in a unified way (don’t single one person out), and try implementing other productivity enhancers before locking down the internet’s frequented leisure sites.

Head over to YouTube to view a short video related to this study.

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