'Cyberloafing' is good
- 08 November, 2008 22:00
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.
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
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."