Free-market economists have long believed that while markets work best without central planning, the internal organization within firms may need a central planner. But once in a while, a short burst of freedom and spontaneity can help firms too.
Much to the chagrin of employees, companies spend millions every year blocking YouTube and Facebook, in an attempt to increase productivity. But if a recent University of Melbourne study is to be believed, that can backfire.
The study authors note that “workplace Internet leisure browsing” helps in concentration and can make a worker 9% more productive. Now, that’s a figure that will come handy the next time an employee is caught using Google Talk.
The idea is that a little bit of time away from work can help the mind relax. Employees are sure to jump at this idea. And perhaps companies caught in a recession should do so as well.
A bit of mail, some friendly Facebook chatter, a refreshing TED talk can rejuvenate.