Cyberloafing Could Be Damaging Your Career, Says Study

Are you guilty of browsing Zara online or Amazon during working hours? Well, you might well be a 'cyberloafer'

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We're all guilty of it.

Come 2pm on a Thursday afternoon - when the caffeine hit has long worn off, drink invites for that night are flooding in, and the post-lunch bloat/slump kicks in - all you want to do is turn off your emails and open up a bottle of wine with your mates because 'hello weekend' (Thursday is the new Friday, if you didn't already know).

However, rather than risk a caution/being fired, many of us slyly tap away at our keyboard pretending to check emails and catch up on our to-do list when, in fact, we're scrolling through Arket and Net-A-Porter's latest collections and popping on Instagram to check what Blake Lively has recently been up to.

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However, the habit of surfing the web and opening up numerous clothing, social media, and news tabs on your laptop is a practice that experts are now calling 'cyberloafing' and sadly, it's not as fun as it sounds.

In essence, 'cyberloafing' is a term used to describe the way an employee uses the internet at work for personal use while they should be working, and research suggests it's seriously bad for your career.

A new study published in The Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace explains that 'cyberloafing' is associated with range of 'dark' personality traits.

In the study, participants shared their cyber use to assess how internet consumption affected their behaviour and the results found that checking the news and browsing online retailers were the greatest hindrances to employee's productivity and career trajectory.

The report also suggests that those who 'cyberloaf' are more likely to be manipulative, socially exploitative, and narcissistic.

Career coach Evelyn Cotter explains to Stylist magazine that 'cyberloafing' is 'an attempt to replace something that we're lacking, but we never get that 'filled-up' feeling'.

She adds that due to modern ways of working including flexible working hours and the fact the internet is an essential component of many jobs, employees are prone to slipping into an 'almost catatonic state' of browsing.

Of course, taking short breaks throughout the day aren't a problem, but to ensure you don't get fired any time soon, make sure you prioritise your most important tasks throughout the week, impose your own rule for deadlines, and plan your time effectively.

It's all about balance, people.

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