Cyberslacking, a term Trend Hunter was introduced to a few months ago, has become a worldwide business issue that's lead to â€œe-breakâ€ bans in corporations around the world. This act of limiting employee access to the internet has led to a £4 billion (US$7.92 billion) annual loss for UK businesses.
PopCap Games published a report this week that said the financial loss is, ironically, due to a drop in productivity of the workers. The PopCap Break Report 2008 revealed giving employees 10 minutes of personal online free time during the work day resulted in better work; it decreases employee stress, allowing them to resume work refreshed and with a sharpened mind.
â€œThe research shows that far from distracting employees from their work, e-breaks actually serve to increase staff efficiency and morale, benefitting UK businesses,â€ PopCap says.
70% of major UK companies prohibited their employees from cyberslacking on their MySpace and Facebook pages. Some companies where employees don't require use of the web banned internet access altogether.
â€œWith work days becoming increasingly longer and work loads more demanding, UK bosses are introducing internet bans to help combat alleged productivity loss and inappropriate use of workplace resources,â€ says Dr Chamorro-Premuzic. â€œYet bosses are missing a trick by introducing e-bans.
â€œThe PopCap Break Report has revealed that allowing workers more freedom at the PC, can benefit the worker's morale levels, effectively boosting companies' profits. In addition to allowing their mind to switch off from their work worries, employers can foster a more trusting and enjoyable environment for workers.â€
The report finds, which involved university-based psychology studies, revealed that on 10 minute e-break in the work day significantly boosts productivity.
The top five suggested e-breaks, as suggested by Dr Chamorro-Premuzic:
1. Puzzles and casual computer games
2. Social networking & personal emails
3. Online shopping
4. General browsing
5. Life admin
So, to anyone who is not self-employed, I recommend forwarding this to your boss. If you want to anonymously lobby your boss to take these e-breaks, check out http://www.popcapbreak.com.
And those who have employees? If it boosts your business, and it makes your employees happier, why not do a month trial?