A study of 3,000 people in the USA has found that December is the month when people are most distracted by browsing the internet at work.
The survey undertaken by Stop Procrastinating (www.stopprocrastinatingapp.com), the leading website blocker, found that 74% of people admitted that a combination of black Friday and Christmas online shopping meant they spent hours browsing the internet instead of working.
Black Friday was the single most distracting day with 35% saying they spent more than four hours browsing the internet at work. A further 17% said that they had pages open looking like they were working when they weren’t. 10% said that they used their smart phone in the office toilet to make a Black Friday online purchase.
In the run up to Christmas, 37% said they spent more than five hours a week searching online at work for presents for family and friends. Another 24% admitted that they used lunch breaks to search online rather than shop at local shops that they could walk to.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day also saw hours spent online searching for deals in the sales. 23% of people who said they avoid the Boxing Day sales were tempting online this year to browse the sales from the comfort of their own home.
33% said they felt they shopped online more this year than last. 21% said they shopped the same amount of time.
Compared with the rest of the year, only February and March caused distraction at work with people searching for holidays for the summer. Some 32% of people said they used these months to book their summer holiday.
Rob Jones, spokesperson for Stop Procrastinating, said: “The pressure to buy online on Black Friday has clearly had an impact on concentration levels at work. With big deals, the pressure to browse the internet than work is overwhelming for some,” he said.
“Not only is productivity down at work in December, but there is a risk Christmas Day is becoming less of a day for socialising and merry fun than for going online and buying even more stuff,” he said .
About Stop Procrastinating: Stop Procrastinating is an internet blocking and productivity application. It is compatible with Mac OS and Windows. It allows users the option to block the internet for a period of time in three ways, depending on how much self discipline they have.
Option 1 allows users to block the internet for a set amount of time, but they can get back online if they reboot their computer.
Option 2 allows users to block the internet for a set amount of time, but prevents access to the internet even if they restart their computer. They have to wait until their chosen time is up to reconnect.
Option 3 allows users to input into a black list specific websites they wish to block, such as Facebook or Twitter, and to stay connected to the internet.
Stop Procrastinating also gives users the option to write down their works goals before disconnecting from the internet. Research has shown this to be a powerful aid to motivation. It also allows users to chart their progress over time, which helps users see how much more work they are getting done.