IT Best Practices

5 Workplace ‘Time-Wasters’: Worth the Time?

When is a waste of time actually productive? That’s what Joe Stanganelli aims to clarify in an article for InformationWeek. Studies show that many activities traditionally forbidden by managers are what employees may need to reenergize between bouts of “real” work. This is an article you’ll want to forward to your boss.

#5 – Drinking on the Job

We’re not just telling you what you want to hear. Companies like Google and Facebook are known for allowing (beer) drinking at work and many startups are following suit by hosting happy hours to loosen ties while building them. Isn’t it obvious that human bonds are the glue of every organization (three-martini lunch breaks aside)?

#4 – Gathering at the Water Cooler

Does your office space have a water cooler? Well it should – If only for people to gather around. As Stanganelli postulates, taking a break over a cup of water is infinitely more healthy than cigarette or coffee breaks (alcohol notwithstanding). Some sources say that a bit of positive water cooler gossip (a.k.a. – conversation) can build morale and be a source of interoffice news.

#3 – Playing Games

It’s common for companies to adopt methods of gamification. But what about, well, just games. Board games, billiards, chess: these are all ways for co-workers to collaborate and to sharpen their minds while revamping their energies for more productive tasks. Computer games are certainly par for the course, with many gaming apps already being adapted for workplace goals.

#2 – Daydreaming

This might be a tough one to run by your manager. If they ask why you’re staring off into space, just tell them that “daydreaming is important work,” it is a potent form of “self-motivation,” and it can lead to “remarkable insight.” Again, Google and Facebook give their workers paid license to goof off a bit, allowing the occurrence of a phenomenon similar to understanding poetry and metaphor to occur in the brain. It’s true; genuine innovation requires positive affect and a relaxed mind.

#1 – Browsing Websites

And you thought that aimless Internet surfing at work was a delinquent activity! It turns out that those who take a little time to do some fun web browsing are 16% more productive afterword, and are 39% more effective than their non-loafing peers. So go ahead, get to work clicking around!

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