Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Internet browsing can improve millennial attention to workplace tasks

Date:
July 14, 2014
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
A recent research article has empirically test the theory of Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing, its effectiveness in restoring overall attention to workplace tasks, and attitudes toward workplace Internet browsing among differing age groups. The implication of this dual study is that short breaks that include non-work related Internet browsing can potentially improve younger workers’ (under the age of 30) attention to work tasks.

Short breaks that include non-work related Internet browsing can potentially improve younger workers' (under the age of 30) attention to work tasks.
Credit: kantver / Fotolia

"Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing," a recent research article out of Australia and published in Human Performance (Routledge), is the first to empirically test the theory of Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB), its effectiveness in restoring overall attention to workplace tasks, and attitudes toward workplace Internet browsing among differing age groups. The implication of this dual study is that short breaks that include non-work related Internet browsing can potentially improve younger workers' (under the age of 30) attention to work tasks.

Concentration during workplace tasks is of the upmost importance; however, it declines over time as mental resources are expended, with cited research from the study finding that subjects begin to lose concentration after 5 to 15 minutes before needing a break. According to the study, "WILB is the act of using the company Internet for personal reasons during work hours, which might include watching YouTube movies, engaging in social media sites such as Facebook, or doing any other activity that might be construed as personal Internet use outside of organizationally set tasks." Based on the constructs, the researcher theorized that [1] WILB will have positive effects on a worker's attention to a task by reducing vigilance decrement -- a psychological term meaning a decline in attention to a task as time progresses -- and [2] workers under the age of 30 recognize WILB as having a more positive effect on their workplace productivity than older workers because they grew up in the "technology age."

To test these hypotheses, two separate studies were conducted. The first study assessed the overall task vigilance of four separate groups receiving a different kind of short break while at work: WILB break (surfing Facebook for five minutes), Internet break (comparing separate insurance policies for best deal), stationary break (remaining in place), and no break. The results indicated that task vigilance did not decay as much for those in the WILB group compared to the other three groups. The second study utilized online surveys to a nationwide sample of 2700 office workers to determine the differing attitudes towards WILB among separated age groups. The results indicated that younger workers reap attitudinal and attention benefits from WILB that older workers do not.

"The implication of this research for managers is that WILB should not necessarily be treated as 'cyberloafing,' whereby perpetrators should be punished. Although excessive WILB may negatively impact worker performance by consuming time that would otherwise be spent performing work-related tasks, the present research suggests positive benefits within reasonable limits," wrote the researcher in the discussion. "An interesting avenue for future research would be to examine how motivational factors might moderate any effects of WILB productivity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brent L. S. Coker. Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing. Human Performance, 2013; 26 (2): 114 DOI: 10.1080/08959285.2013.765878

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Internet browsing can improve millennial attention to workplace tasks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714100350.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2014, July 14). Internet browsing can improve millennial attention to workplace tasks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714100350.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Internet browsing can improve millennial attention to workplace tasks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714100350.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Facebook earnings beat forecasts- with revenue climbing 61 percent. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins