For many productivity equals 7 hours of internet surfing and 30 minutes of accomplishing whatever tasks they can in the office. For others internet gets in the way of their productivity.

According to a new online survey of American workers by the nonprofit Pew Research Center, nearly half of the respondents surveyed revealed that the Internet, email and related technologies have made them far more productive. Only 7 percent of respondents said that the rise of technologies has made them less productive.


61 percent of respondents said that email was “very important” to their jobs.

4 percent of respondents said that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, by comparison were “very important”.

This huge mismatch has put Facebook at a place where, the flagship social media network is already working on creating a social network specifically for workplaces called “Facebook for Work” which is scheduled to be released in the coming months.

Internet Makes Us More Productive

Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research at the Pew Research Center said in a statement that email is now the foundational ‘social media’ even as other rival technologies are on the rise.

For all the debates on the shift in our culture towards mobile phones, about one-third of respondents agreed that a landline was essential to their jobs, compared to the one-quarter that said that the cellphone was important.

Pew Research Center surveyed 535 full-time or part-time American workers who were 18 years or older in September 2014 through a nationally representative online research panel. The margin of error for the study was plus or minus five percentage points.

Respondents said, the Internet had made them more productive and provided them more flexibility in their jobs. Around 35 percent of respondents revealed that they work longer hours because of it.

Office-based employees reported more benefits as well as an increase in workplace demands due to the internet compared to non-office employees.

Employees said that the biggest benefit of the internet was stretched out network of connections that they had developed outside of their organization.

Kagan deems technology as a double-edged sword. Technology can help employers track workers, but that doesn’t mean that workplace technology should be treated like some sort of personal toy.

Still, more prominent access to the Internet means even more rules and guidelines. Almost 50% of employers have made standards (also includes blocking access to certain websites) with respect to how employees can say something or post on the internet, compared to 20 percent in 2006, when Pew headed a similar survey.