back to article Short bursts of The Reg at work increase your productivity

Sneaking a little web surfing into the work day increases our concentration and productivity overall, according to a University of Melbourne study. Report author Brent Coker, from the U's department of management and marketing, said folks who indulge in short browsing breaks are about nine per cent more productive than those …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    And the pope's religion is... ?

    Seriously, people write reports on this crap.

    It's been known for years that a break from work improves concentration; doesn't matter what sort of break.

    When I were a lad, one of my school teachers said that he'd not preach the same thing for any more than 20 minutes because after that people switch off; changing the subject 15 minutes in regains peoples attention... I thought it was arbitrary at the time, but whenever I noticed myself switching off was 20 minutes into each lesson!

    So, a 2 minute break every 15-20 minutes will do wonders for your productivity.

    Now, where do I send my invoice?

  2. Fozzy
    Thumb Up

    I need that 2 minute break

    Been reading the Reg for 30 minutes solid at work and misread the headline. I was thinking "short Squirts - the reg is good but not that good" Damn looks like a couple of minutes of work to get my mind back on track

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Productivity is better if you focus in on the work, side distractions are just that distractions, it is no wonder were are in a world recessions, with all these surfing layabouts.

  4. Charles King
    Thumb Up

    Bollocks to Bollocks

    Temporary distractions are an essential aid to jolt your mind out of local minima and help you refocus to analyse the real problem.

  5. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    It works for me

    I find a quick web sojourn into El Reg now and again helps me greatly at work.

    It's been my habit for years now.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a lousy acronym

    One of the guys here at work has a much better term. He calls it "internapping".

  7. Mark Edwards

    And in other news ...

    The pontiff defecates in woods, and bears are catholic.

  8. Sceptical Bastard

    @ 'Bollocks'

    Thank you, AC, for your in-depth analysis of the current global economic situation - if only the G20 leaders shared your insight and wisdom they could ensure a return to high growth rates by simply dismantling the internet (or, rather, the web). You twat.

    Were it not for my forays into El Reg (and, need I add, my unwholesome fantasies about our beloved and voluptuous Moderatrix), my days would consist of unremitting paid employment. And that would never do!

    With no higher authority to turn to for advice, I will ask Sarah - am I showing signs of internet addiction?

    And while you are in agony aunt mode, Ms Bee, pray tell what is a 'normal' amount of time online? Surely that depends on one's job, one's reliance on email, one's hobbies, and a host of other variables? Am I normal? Are you? What is the meaning of it all?

  9. Osiris

    I need a break

    Duly forwarded to my PHB, hopfully I can get offical 'reg breaks' now - in addition to nicotine breaks

  10. Lionel Baden


    What about 8 hour long breaks on The reg ??

  11. Tim Schomer
    Paris Hilton


    Seems like soneone's turned off JIM THE BOSSs CAPS LOCK for him.

    Paris cos it sums up her attention span.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    This new information....

    WILB the end of Web Filters? ;)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Bollocks yourself AC!

    It's been proven that if you try to concentrate for too long on any one task, your productivity will fall.

    I once started in a new job in a team where the boss would ask us to change our work item every 45 minutes and move to another task. I thought that was a load of bullshit until the first monthly departmental meeting that I attended. The other teams in the department were about to adopt the strategy because our team *always* met it's targets.

    Meeting all our targets in turn gave us a chance to do some sneaky web browsing, so I can see how this might work!

  14. Anonymous Coward


    You sound like one of those people whose skills are so poor that you have to spend every possible second glued to your work (you probably do unpaid overtime just to keep up).

    You're just envious of those of us who can do the same work twice as well in half the time and therefore have plenty of time for surfing the internet.

  15. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ 'Bollocks'

    I don't know what 'normal' is in terms of time online. If you've lost the ability to communicate with people in meatspace and find yourself trying to minimise chat windows with dullards, you might want to book a short camping break on a remote Scottish island. Y'know, just to recalibrate.

    The meaning of it all? I don't know. If a server falls over in the woods, does it make a sound?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @The Moderatrix

    "The meaning of it all? I don't know. If a server falls over in the woods, does it make a sound?"

    I don't know about in the woods, but the one which 'fell over' in the office yesterday made a right racket.

    Woke me right up it did.

    AC ... just in case my boss is reading :-)

    /mine's the one without the P45 in the pocket.

  17. goggyturk

    Not only surfing

    I usually find that abusing a co-worker has the same effect. In particular, finding a boss to break some bad news to makes me happy and productive for the rest of the day.

    That or applying percussive maintenance to bits of kit that have failed.

  18. Peyton


    "What about 8 hour long breaks on The reg ??"

    No, definitely not good. Seven hours max, as you need at least an hour for lunch. Especially if you read the comments - very important to maintain your strength if you're going to read the comments.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 9:29

    "The other teams in the department were about to adopt the strategy because our team *always* met it's targets."

    Of course, if your boss was open-minded enough to consider things like that strategy, your team may have done well partially because he was equally adept at other areas of management, too.

  20. Ye Cats
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    Re: Re: @ 'Bollocks'

    " might want to book a short camping break on a remote Scottish island."

    So what you're saying is, Sarah, that we need breaks from our breaks? Sounds good to me. Oh, well, time to take a break from my break: on that remote Scottish island called "The Isle of Work".

  21. Sceptical Bastard

    I can't comment....

    ... as I'm recalibrating in my tent.

    "Meatspace"? Like it!

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