Getting Paid to Browse Facebook? Not Exactly…

The next time your blood boils when you see employees browsing Facebook on the job or scrambling to purchase hockey tickets on Craigslist…relax. You’ll never believe what a recent article in TrainingIndustry.com stated:

According to the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne: “Workers who engage in workplace Internet leisure browsing are 9 percent more productive than those who don’t”.

Some go as far as considering leisure browsing to be adding to an employee’s knowledge-base, thereby fulfilling companies’ overall objectives. I’d say that’s going a bit too far.

But wait; there is some truth to these statements. What do leisure Internet browsing and employee training have in common? It’s all about the platform.

The vast migration toward E-Learning and real-time collaboration in the workplace can only be attributed to today’s incredible attraction to the virtual sharing world. Individuals who engage in virtual knowledge sharing are indeed strengthening the mobile business world and demonstrating the power of harnessing brainpower regardless of time or space.

So let your employees sharpen their Facebook skills. Encourage eBay bidding and Craigslist negotiating during company time. “Just not on my clock” says your boss…

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Well, this will be a good article for the media to get a hold of won’t it? Encouraging social browsing on the public dime….I can see it now.


That’s great! If an employer/manager, who is a real “knows-how-to-manage” person, will use this type of leadership skills, he/she will know which of their employees will use this to advance themselves in their job and by adding to their knowledge of the future. This same Employer/Manager will know if an employee is one who is bored, or does not want to work as much, and goes on facebook, internet, etc to play games and waste the company’s time.

Employers/Managers, get to know your people; don’t make assumptions and by doing so make yourself look lacking in management skills and knowledge as a leader; don’t be lazy do your homework, that’s why you get paid the high salaries. 🙂

Allan Lawlor

You can’t engage citizens on Facebook or other social platforms if you don’t understand those communities. I think it absolutely builds knowledge and experience that is relevant at work.

Barry Williams

The furure of work is wrapped in the phrase “harnessing brainpower regardless of time or space.” We have to redefine the concept of work. This won’t happen overnight. The technology is moving much faster than our ways of thinking about what is work or play and how we go about them.

Jay Johnson

Sounds like this supports the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). If your employees are getting results, no need to worry how much internet browsing they are doing.

Daniel Daughtry-Weiss

Hard for me to justify putting down that time–no matter how knowledge building–when I allocate time via timesheet to specific projects. Not in scope!

Carol Davison

A good leader leaves their people alone as long as they are making mission. If Facebook makes people 9% more effective, perhaps it should be made mandatory. After all, its beats show shopping.

Daniel Daughtry-Weiss

@ Allan, I agree. But I am speaking of my committment to the taxpayer. I have to be honest/clear about who and what I a providing value to. My own knowledge and fullfillment or my current projects and duties? If it makes me a better worker, that is potential value for the government, and it would be wrong headed for my employer to block access, or for me as a supervisor to judge the contribution of an employee by whether they spend time liesure browsing.

But cost is a factor. It would be nice to have a solid cost/benefit analysis on everything I do or am responsible for, but it just isn’t possible. Until I’m a government employee I’ll have to continue to fill out my timesheet–and pay for my own cost of anticipated returns.