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Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing – Help or Hindrance?

In: Business and Management

Submitted By cafox
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Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing – Help or Hindrance?

Does workplace Internet leisure browsing help or hinder workplace productivity? This was a question posed by, researcher and lecturer of Marketing at the University of Melbourne, Brent Coker in his study titled “Freedom to Surf: the positive effects of workplace Internet leisure browsing.” The organization of this study looked at the relationship between the behavior, frequency and duration of workplace Internet leisure browsing (WILB) on workplace productivity. Key research indicates that “blocking or controlling Internet access in the workplace is viewed by many employees as a restraint impinging on their sense of control”1, thus, compelling those being restricted to perceive lower levels of autonomy.


Coker conducted an online survey of two thousand and seven hundred randomly selected office workers from a data base of market research panelists. Of the 2,700 surveys sent two hundred and sixty eight were completed. Through a preliminary analysis, made by Coker, data was collected and recorded into a data base from a web survey to determine the types of WILB activities being conducted in the workplace. Participants were asked questions relating to the frequency, duration and incidence of each activity and their responses determined the questions that followed (“question piping”2). With an aggregate analysis of the data Coker was able to identify seventeen types of WILB activities, as well as, calculate the total time in hours spent WILBing per week, the average hours spent working in a week, and the percentage of time spent WILBing. The Endicott Work Productivity Scale was used to measure work productivity, which “evaluates worker performance in the areas of: attendance, work quality, performance capacity and social/mental, physical and emotional person factors. Summed scores range…...

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