(Photo:Flickr/SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget)

Surfing the web at work is typically viewed as bad practice, but a recent article in The Wall Street Journal reports that taking a break to browse the Internet may actually help employees increase productivity levels.

In a newly released study, researchers put 96 undergraduate management students into three groups and asked them to perform a task. They found that members of the group allowed to surf the web continuously throughout the task were more efficient than members of the control group, which were required to perform only the assigned task, or members of the other group, which were allowed to take a break to do whatever they wanted.

A second study involving 191 participants produced similar findings.

Researcher Vivien K.G Lim told The Wall Street Journal that surfing the web during the workday leads to better production among workers because “it’s like going for a coffee or snack break. Breaks of such nature are pleasurable, rejuvenating the Web surfer.”

Researchers also said that browsing the Internet had a better effect on production than texting, making personal calls, e-mailing or working straight through the day.