Bosses miss a trick by banning internet breaks
Banning personal internet use in the workplace could cost British businesses up to £4 billion every year due to a resulting decline in staff productivity, according to a new report.
PopCap Games claims new research indicates taking a ten-minute online break during the course of the working day serves to reduce stress while sharpening and refocusing the mind.
With seven out of ten companies – including Credit Suisse and British Gas – banning access to social networking sites and many considering banning personal internet access altogether, The PopCap Break Report 2008 highlights the negative impact this could have on the UK economy. The research shows that far from distracting employees from their work, e-breaks actually serve to increase staff efficiency and morale, benefitting UK businesses.
The findings are based on psychometric trials carried out on a cross section of UK businesses under the supervision of Goldsmiths University psychologist, Dr Chamorro-Premuzic.
The comparative effect of different types of online breaks on employees’ performances were tested and the results revealed that if bosses actively encouraged employees to take one ten minute e-break in the working day their overall productivity levels would increase.
The report looked at different types of office e-breaks and ranked them according to their positive impact on productivity levels. Dr Chamorro-Premuzic rated the top five types of e-breaks according to their benefits to staff productivity:
* Puzzles and casual computer games
* Social networking & personal emails
* Online shopping
* General browsing
* Life admin
According to the report ten minutes playing online games had the most positive benefits for employees. They were particularly beneficial for stressed out, nervous and anxious workers.