Friday, 18 March 2011

Limiting users access to the Internet reduces productivity

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6667.html#wp-3

Abstract

To encourage worker productivity, offices prohibit Internet use. Consequently, many employees delay Internet activity to the end of the workday. Recent work in social psychology, however, suggests that using willpower to delay gratification can negatively impact performance. We report data from an experiment where subjects in a Willpower Treatment are asked to resist the temptation to join others in watching a humorous video for 10 minutes. In relation to a baseline treatment that does not require willpower, we show that resisting this temptation detrimentally impacts economic productivity on a subsequent task.

Download the paper: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/11-090.pdf


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