The Surprising Benefit of Screwing Around Online at Work

surfing the internetIn today's alarmist, oh-my-God-we're-all-gonna-die society, it's a beautiful thing when you find out that a bad habit of yours is actually a good habit. 'Cause typically it's the other way around. The latest gem in these rarer-than-a-shooting-star findings? Surfing the Internet makes you a better worker. Amazing, right?

Researchers from the National University of Singapore conducted an experiment involving three groups, a highlighter, and the Internet (if you want to read about the specifics, be my guest). Turned out, the groups who took breaks to read The Stir (or other, less cool websites) blew the non-Internet-surfing groups out of the water in terms of productivity. We're all finally doing something right!


I chalk it up to the fact that we need to switch gears in our brains every so often. Like, if you're staring at TPS reports all day, they'll eventually start to look hazy and confusing. Maybe even a little hallucinatory? It's your head's way of telling you -- I need a break, man. Quit being such a slave driver. Then, when you screw around on the web for a little while, your brain gets that much-needed respite and has time to reboot. Because you don't need your brain to surf the 'net. It's America's favorite mindless pastime. It's very much akin to taking your body on an actual vacation. When you return, don't you usually feel rested and refreshed? (But, wait, what happens when your job is surfing the Internet?)

So, the next time your boss walks in and sees you staring at photos of Kim Kardashian's wedding, simply tell her you're doing it for the sake of the company.

(But don't tell her I told you.)

Do you surf the Internet at work? (Clearly you do ...)


Image via mjmalone/Flickr

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