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"Boss, this is good for the company!"
April 2, 2009 11:45 AM   Subscribe


 
"WILB"?

Shouldn't this have been released yesterday?
posted by dersins at 11:48 AM on April 2, 2009


You do have the option to "always look at that professional-looking white site," you know.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:50 AM on April 2, 2009


People who do surf the Internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office

ur doin it wrong
posted by ND¢ at 11:50 AM on April 2, 2009


As I type this, my productivity is at an all-time high
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:51 AM on April 2, 2009


I'm paid to write comments on MetaFilter, so surfing the web at my day job not only bursts my productivity there, but increases my own income. I just need to be sure my day job bosses don't know, and also that I don't spill the beans on MeFi, as Matt and I agreed that this arrangement would be strictly secret, or everybody would want to know how they can get paid to comment here, and frankly, most would not be up to the standards that I bring, and ...

Oh crap.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:54 AM on April 2, 2009


Did I make this up or did there use to be a commenter on MeFi that was all the time talking about how if you looked at Metafilter while you were at work then you were stealing from your employer and you were a bad person? Like not just an isolated comment but he would say it regularly? I think people mostly just ignored him. Does anybody remember this?
posted by ND¢ at 12:00 PM on April 2, 2009


You do have the option to "always look at that professional-looking white site," you know.

Its just not the same though.
posted by Bango Skank at 12:02 PM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


"‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB)"

brahhahahahahahah.... they make it sound like a good thing!

or...a radio station...
posted by HuronBob at 12:06 PM on April 2, 2009


Did I make this up or did there use to be a commenter on MeFi that was all the time talking about how if you looked at Metafilter while you were at work then you were stealing from your employer and you were a bad person?

I had this attitude when I was an hourly shelf-stocking worker and I was less results oriented. They teach it to you at Wal-Mart school. It is true, after a fashion, at least in some situations where you are paid to constantly work and not paid for availability or results.
posted by cimbrog at 12:12 PM on April 2, 2009


ND¢, was there only one? I seem to recall several such benighted souls.


I expect this study will soon be cited on Ironic Times, with a subhead like "Study performed at Google University" or the like.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:14 PM on April 2, 2009


1. Get a Job
2. Surf The Web On Company Time
3.?
4. Profit! Productivity!
posted by Smarson at 12:15 PM on April 2, 2009


It is true, after a fashion, at least in some situations where you are paid to constantly work and not paid for availability or results.

I mean, it may be strictly true, but lots of things are like strictly true. If you lived your life that way what comes next, paying for music?
posted by ND¢ at 12:16 PM on April 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Even management knows that work in offices is mostly soul sucking nonsense aimed at making the top cadre rich at the expense of everyone else. A laissez-faire web usage policy allows employees to briefly drown out their misery with cats and comment forums and social networking before going back to their unending terror workloads with new found hope.

People tend to be biologically wired for task completion,and get a special release of endorphins after they've done something that fits in the framework of increasing their safety or well-being and they tend to spend this feeling on pleasurable distractions rather than redirect it back on their work. Having work structured around this build-up and release benefits the employer because the employees then want to come back to work again. The trick is to circumvent that release so one is always in that doped state without having to work, but then we're getting into Slack territory or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:17 PM on April 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


You could probably find the same result if you went back in time and compared newspaper-reading employees to the non-readers. Actively literate workers are more productive. My surprised face: let me show you it.
posted by mullingitover at 12:18 PM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is like how some eggheads back in the 1920s "proved" that reducing working hours from 12 to 8 hours and adding "weekends" made people and the economy healthier. Pish-tosh! Work them to the bone and then get new ones, say I!

*adjusts top hat, hooks fingers into vest, puffs on cigar*
posted by DU at 12:20 PM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, as usual, the Aussies are a shoe-in for that Nobel prize in Surfology.
posted by hermitosis at 12:25 PM on April 2, 2009


The trick ... so one is always in that doped state without having to work

I believe that's called "part-time at Domino's".
posted by Spatch at 12:26 PM on April 2, 2009


*makes off with DU's pocket watch*
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:27 PM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


The way I look at it is as such: your employer pays you for your services. You provide services to your employer in exchange for that pay. You aren't paid in advance. They pay you for the work you did the previous two weeks. They didn't like your work, they could have shown you the door any time they wanted to. They didn't. They paid you for it. Ergo, they must have liked it. If you spent 7 and a half hours a day on Metafilter and went "Oh shit not again!" 20 minutes before your deadline and threw something together and handed it in and then got a paycheck on Friday, guess what, that is the level of service they are paying you to provide. They're (apparently) happy, you're happy. Everybody's happy. World keeps on spinning.
posted by ND¢ at 12:33 PM on April 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


How about masturbation? Did he check that?
posted by pracowity at 12:39 PM on April 2, 2009


There is an element of scale operative in this. When I'm working on a project in a big room with, like 10 or 20 other guys in it, and a few are web surfing, that has a completely different feel than when the one guy I hired as a consultant at $60 and hour, and who is sitting right next to me, is not doing what I'm paying him to do.

I suppose the fact that I'm paying for it might make a difference, too.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:45 PM on April 2, 2009


“People who do surf the Internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office - are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t,” he says.

I try to set my standards much higher than 20%, because I care about my work. The amount of surfing I commit to because of that strict ethic allows me to operate at 36%-45% higher productivity than normal.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:49 PM on April 2, 2009


To show your next employer how productive you are put your MeFi username on your resume.
posted by caddis at 12:53 PM on April 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


I deserve a raise!
posted by diogenes at 12:54 PM on April 2, 2009


This is really from the department of "Duh" research-- it is absurd to think that people are on-task and focused all the time. It is also absurd to think that creating a rigid, inhumane work environment that doesn't recognize this would increase productivity.

When you give creative workers freedom, they are *more* likely to do good work; conscientious people feel that if you give something good to them-- free time, perks-- they need to reciprocate or they feel guilty.

Therefore, if you select conscientious workers, the more freedom you give them, the less they will abuse it and the harder they will work for you.

And even the least conscientious are resentful and feel like "sticking it to the man" when you exert ever more minute control over them. You simply can't make people focus every second-- doing so lowers productivity and increases resentment.

Giving breaks and increasing a worker's sense of control over his environment thus improves productivity-- though this effect is seen most with conscientious workers.
posted by Maias at 12:54 PM on April 2, 2009


A relaxed workplace is great - or more correctly a relaxed job. Most of the people around me are drones but my role is largely undefined with the only daily requirement being that I turn up to the office.

As such I spend what seems like a lot of my day on MeFi - but since I've won awards for the work I do it can't be hurting my productivity that much.

Short(er) repsonse: No shit, Sherlock.
posted by She Kisses Wyverns at 1:02 PM on April 2, 2009


This is like how some eggheads back in the 1920s "proved" that reducing working hours from 12 to 8 hours and adding "weekends" made people and the economy healthier. Pish-tosh! Work them to the bone and then get new ones, say I!

I tried getting new bones, but they didn't stay put. I'm still looking forward to growing new teeth, but even that's a few years out yet.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:07 PM on April 2, 2009


As I type this, my productivity is at an all-time high

Me too.

Wait, what?
posted by The Whelk at 1:08 PM on April 2, 2009


I was told that I could surf the Internet for fun at work within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of my total time in the office; I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to surf the Internet for fun while I'm collating, so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy surfing within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of my total time in the office.

And it's not okay because if they take my MetaFilter then I'll set the building on fire.
posted by nicepersonality at 1:24 PM on April 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Surfing the web during is productive, in moderate amounts. You just gotta be careful to not lose control and forget to do your work. I got one of those stopwatches chess players use, and leave it on my desk at work at all times. I use it for playing chess online during work hours.
posted by qvantamon at 1:53 PM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, I'm going to send this to our CEO so they'll unblock Youtube!

/gets fired
posted by emjaybee at 2:05 PM on April 2, 2009


Did I make this up or did there use to be a commenter on MeFi that was all the time talking about how if you looked at Metafilter while you were at work then you were stealing from your employer and you were a bad person?

No, you remember correctly. We killed him and ate him.
posted by LordSludge at 2:25 PM on April 2, 2009


Oh good. I was worried I had misremembered. That would have been disturbing.
posted by ND¢ at 3:07 PM on April 2, 2009


I only read MetaFilter while at work. Why waste my own time on this?
posted by crossoverman at 4:17 PM on April 2, 2009


v-p-z-Enter
AROOM has been quite content lately. He has been satisfied at work lately. He was caught in the rain recently. He has a very calm demeanor. He often feels discouraged. He has a good awareness of his own emotions. He doesn't go out of his way to do more work that necessary. He needs cute overload to get through the working day.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:42 PM on April 2, 2009


er ARMOOM
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:43 PM on April 2, 2009


1) Give internet to your employees
2) Threaten to take it away if they don't meet budget
3) ???
4) PROFIT!
posted by ninazer0 at 6:15 PM on April 2, 2009


Well, I could be standing around outside of the building on an hourly smoke-break with the old-school regiment in my building. Or, I could, in traditional office lady fashion, spend a portion of my day on the telephone scolding or advising children and spouses on some allegedly important matter.

Or, I could drop in to Metafilter, an online newspaper or blog during my work day and take a mini-break where I actually learn something useful and relax. If I was a 19th century thresher working in the field or a brain surgeon in the operating room, I would possibly not benefit from such distractions. As a person who spends 95% of the work day in front of the computer, it's necessary that there be hilarious photos of kittens in wigs and nicely written news stories and blog posts so that my sanity is preserved.
posted by pluckysparrow at 8:23 PM on April 2, 2009


I remember reading one of these "Linux is ready for the desktop!" articles about five years ago. It said this company had increased worker efficiency enormously. All the Slashdot readers were delighted.

Of course, on reading the article, you discovered that was because they used the control provided by Linux to prevent web browsing and non-work email...
posted by alasdair at 12:17 AM on April 3, 2009


Or, I could drop in to Metafilter, an online newspaper or blog during my work day ... and relax.

I am interested in this ability to read the news and relax. What is your secret?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:11 AM on April 3, 2009


IF ANY OF MY OTHER EMPLOYEES ARE ON THIS WEBSITE, GET YOUR ASSES BACK TO WORK NOW!!!
posted by orme at 5:14 AM on April 3, 2009


Sorry everyone. I thought I would try showing this study to my boss. Gotta go...
posted by orme at 5:16 AM on April 3, 2009


*high-fives the entire Internet, then goes back to doing some work*

I can't argue with it. Brief bouts of Web surfing sure help me keep my sanity when I am stuck here for 8 hours.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:46 AM on April 3, 2009


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