Facebook could sharpen workplace concentration

A report says that taking short breaks to surf for fun could increase employee productivity.

Surfing websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at work could actually increase concentration levels and increase workforce productivity, according to a new report.

The University of Melbourne study said people who surfed the internet at work for a reasonable time less than 20 per cent of their total time in the office were more productive by about nine per cent than those who didn't.

Dr Brent Coker, from the university's Department of Management and Marketing, said the reason for this was due to the way a working day was broken up into smaller chunks of time.

He used an example of writing a company report, where writing it meant a series of mini tasks' such as formatting graphs, writing the introduction and so on.

Coker said: "At the end of these mini tasks we like rewarding ourselves such as getting a coffee, and starting a new mini task

"If we're not given the chance to take a break, our concentration slides down."

He called this way of sharpening worker's concentration workplace internet leisure browsing'.

However, Coker said that it was important to note that this was only the case when internet browsing was done in moderation, as this would then have a negative effect towards productivity.

The use of social networks has aroused controversy in the past, with some claiming they decrease productivity leading to some companies banning them completely, while others claim it is a useful workplace tool for networking and making contacts.

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