Acronyms...gotta love them.
Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing.
This term comes from an interesting study out of the University of Melbourne (I knew those Aussies were good for something).
I have to be careful here, but I buy into what this study concludes: if we are permitted to manage our work time to take intermittent short breaks we will be more productive. As educators we are always told that in even the 50 minute span of the typical university lecture slot we need to take short breaks in our flow of lecturing to allow the students to reset their concentration or attention span. I think the same thing occurs at work: brief breaks to have a quick chat, surf the web (the subject of this study), check in on what profound thing the dean had to say in his blog, or pop out for a coffee -- these all allow us to reset our concentration and refocus on our work.
Of course this can easily be overdone and, when it is, this study clearly shows that -- as is often the case -- too much of a good thing is harmful. Productivity can indeed suffer if people spend too much of their day "resetting". So, please do not take this commentary as blanket endorsement that "the dean says I can do this"!
I do, however, believe in the modest use of brief breaks to increase productivity and also to develop a stronger sense of community -- as I noted when I started this blog. (Thanks to Rick DeBowes for pointing out this study.)