The Web As A Productivity Drainer

from the stop-reading-this-now-and-get-back-to-work dept

Did you know that every second you’re sitting there reading this post and not doing work you’re contributing to $2,000 in lost productivity (well, if you’re in the US, that is). A new, somewhat ridiculous study is blaming the web for $63 billion in lost productivity. How they came up with those numbers makes this a very very questionable claim. They simply guessed that workers were wasting one hour of their workday a week surfing non-work related sites, and multiplied that times the average salary of workers in the US. Yes, if you think about this carefully it proves absolutely nothing. There’s no evidence that people weren’t goofing around at the water cooler one hour per week prior to the web. Even worse, there’s no evidence that being able to let your brain relax for an hour out of 40 during the week doesn’t make you more productive during work time. And, of course, I haven’t even mentioned that the company that put together the survey might just be the slightest bit biased – since they’re trying to sell software that prevents employees from freely surfing the web.

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Comments on “The Web As A Productivity Drainer”

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Duffman says:

More time? More productive?

Basically, this statement (from the release itself):

In the first quarter, employees’ output went up but their hours grew twice as fast, leading to the decline in productivity.

to me, at least, puts a slightly diffent spin on what the company is saying. From the headlines, it sounds like all the workers do is sit around and surf the net. These quotes say that they are in fact more productive, just taking more time. I hardly think that that is fair or useful. It also says this is the biggest drop in eight years. So it has been dropping in the past, and before the Internet was readily available to most at work. Not to mention the points that the Register and Mike made. Phbbt. Whatever.

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