Distraction boosts productivity. It’s true. And it works equally well for long-haul truck drivers taking breaks as it does for office workers indulging in a little internet browsing or listening to music while they work.
According to a study conducted by the University of Melbourne,
workers who engage in ‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB) are more productive than those who don’t. 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.
The study concludes that
Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days work, and as a result, increased productivity.
Listening to music or having distracting white noise playing can also help to increase productivity in workers. There’s a great post over at LifeHacker which details the best kinds of music that can help you increase your productivity depending on your personal preferences and general work environment.