Is Surfing The Net At Work A Good Thing?

A story I read today by the AAP got me thinking. A recent study out of Melbourne University has found that people who surf the net at work are more productive than those who don't.

The survey group of 300 employees found that 70 percent browsed the Internet at work. Those who did so were more nine percent more productive than those who didn't surf. The reason being that people cannot concentrate for huge lengths of time, therefore they need breaks, which reinvigorates them, according to study head Professor Brent Coker.

Being in the tech industry, and an employer, I can see both sides of the story. Having an informed staff is a good thing, and if they are surfing the net looking at related products and services that can help a company, then that is also beneficial.

Unfortunately, with my employer's hat on, there have been occasions where staff have spent an inordinate amount on the net on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. So, my question is, how do you measure the rights and wrongs of surfing the net during company time? And who has control over the amount of time spent? These are questions that individual employer's have to answer. What do you think?