How to cope with workplace boredom

We spend a large proportion of our working day online. Does this mean we are less productive?

by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

What does online leisure time replace? A recent survey by the National Bureau of Economic Research asked people a very simple question: 'What are you not doing when you are online?'

The most common answer, by far, was 'working' - 35%, compared with 15% for 'watching TV', 12% for 'sleeping', and 4% for 'relaxing and thinking'. If this is true, there are two potential implications.

The first is that people are a lot less productive than they could be. Consider the economic implications of a 35% boost in productivity, or even a 5% one, if we still allowed people to maintain most of their current online leisure time.

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