February 24, 2013


I can't stop my cyber loafing (Lucy Kellaway, 2/24/13, Financial Times)

One day last week I was sitting at my desk reading an academic paper on cyber loafing when I glanced at my screen and saw a colleague had tweeted: "This shouldn't be funny but it is." I clicked on the link and found a series of pictures of ships with silly names. There was HMS Gay Viking, HMS Spanker, SS Lesbian, USS Saucy, SS Iron Knob. At first I laughed but, as I read on to HMS Cockchafer and HMS Grappler, I thought: surely not? Thus I found myself checking on Wikipedia and discovering HMS Cockchafer was the fifth Royal Navy ship of that name, that it was built in 1915, defended the southeast coast of England during the first world war and was later part of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.

Having established that, I saw Twitter was suggesting I follow someone whose name was dimly familiar, so I Googled her and started reading her dull CV until I was distracted by a non-story on the BBC website about David Cameron weighing in on the non-story of Hilary Mantel having said the bleeding obvious: that Kate Middleton looks like a shop-window mannequin. What the hell was I doing? It was the middle of a working day and I had quite a bit to do, but had just squandered a whole hour on nothing.

The reason I'm flaunting this disgraceful theft of time from my employer is that I was reading (before I got distracted) a shocking piece of research telling me that when it comes to cyber loafing, I'm an amateur. According to Joseph Ugrin from Kansas State University, the average US worker spends 60-80 per cent of their time online at work doing things unrelated to their jobs.

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Posted by at February 24, 2013 9:34 AM

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