'Facebook Breaks' Boost Productivity, Study Says

Feeling guilty about checking out Facebook when you should be working? Well, don't -- because according to PopCap Games research, taking a 10-minute break to surf the Net will reduce stress and sharpen your mind.

The games manufacturer claims 'electronic breaks' actually increase staff efficiency and morale, warning that by stopping workers surfing the web, businesses are contributing to a loss to of productivity worth up to US$8 billion every year.

The research will come as a blow to companies that have banned access to social networking sites. According to employment law firm Peninsula, seven out of 10 companies already prohibit workers from visiting sites such as Facebook and are even considering banning personal Internet access altogether.

As part of the findings, Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychologist at Goldsmiths University, carried out psychometric trials in a number of U.K. businesses.

"Work days are becoming longer, workloads are becoming more demanding, and U.K. bosses are introducing Internet bans to help combat alleged productivity losses and inappropriate use of workplace resources," said Dr Chamorro-Premuzic.

"Allowing workers more freedom at the PC can benefit morale and boost company profits. In addition to allowing their mind to switch off from their work worries, employers can foster a more trusting and enjoyable environment," he added.

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