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The benefits of web-surfing at work

Ann Thompson
UC researcher Sung Doo Kim did a study on how web-surfing affects workers and their bosses.

They may not admit it, but plenty of people surf the web while at work. Yes, it can be a time-waster, but if done right and limited to about 10 minutes, University of Cincinnati researcher Sung Doo Kim says it has benefits for both the employee and the company.


  • Staying up to date on current events
  • Learning information that could help you at work
  • Boost productivity
  • Make workers feel refreshed
  • Put employees at ease since they have checked on family

According to Kim, "You're the stock broker, you're a marketing person. You need to stay on top of current events by reading some news articles from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN even though that's not directly related to your work-so one of the positive outcomes is the learning."

He is aware of the negative connotation web-surfing at work has. "It's usually portrayed as a workplace deviance or counterproductive deviant behavior, but we found a lot of potential benefits."

  • Excessive loss of time and productivity if you lose control

Kim presented his research earlier this month at the Academy of Management in Philadelphia. He plans more research on how online breaks could affect different industries.