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'Cyberloafing' is good

'Cyberloafing' is good

Employees feel that the non-work related use of their workplace computer is acceptable and helps them work better.

Employees feel that 'cyberloafing - the non-work related use of their workplace computer - is acceptable and helps them work better. This is

according to a study by associate professor Vivien K.G. Lim and Don

J.Q. Chen of the National University of Singapore.

A total of 191 completed surveys were collected, yielding a response rate of 32 per

cent. Men made up 34 per cent of the respondents. The study 'Cyberloafing at the workplace: Gain or drain on work?' found that, on the average, employees in Singapore spend about 51

minutes per workday on cyberloafing.

Personal e-mailing, instant messaging and visiting news websites were

the commonly cited cyberloafing activities, noted the NUS researchers.

Positive impact

In general, respondents to the survey felt that some form of

cyberloafing at work was acceptable. "Interestingly, findings

suggested that browsing activities have a positive impact on

employees' work engagement while e-mailing activities have a negative

impact," the authors noted.

The survey findings showed that men were more likely to cyberloaf than

women. "Men and women also differed significantly in the amount of

time they spent on cyberloafing at the workplace," the authors said.

"Men reported spending slightly more than an hour a day on

cyberloafing at work, while women reported that they spent about 46

minutes."

How much cyberloafing is acceptable?

Respondents felt that cyberloafing at work was permissible insofar as

it did not exceed 1 hour and 15 minutes per day. Based on the findings

of the study, the authors have this piece of advice for companies:

"Browsing activities allow for some relief at work and may motivate

employees to perform better. Thus, in designing workplace internet

policies, companies should allow employees to use the company's

internet access for non-work related online activities that have a

positive effect on work."

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