April 10, 2007 / 12:31 PM / 12 years ago

Aimless workers "wilfing" through cyberspace

LONDON (Reuters) - Two out of three British Internet users lose significant portions of their time to irrelevant web browsing, a study said on Tuesday.

Attendees use wireless computers at a trade show in Atlanta, Georgia March 24, 2004. Two out of three British Internet users lose significant portions of their time to irrelevant web browsing, a study said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

Workers confronted with the almost unlimited pool of online information become distracted and begin “wilfing,” short for “What Was I Looking For?”.

Wilfers lose two working days a month to aimless browsing, with men being the worst offenders, the study said. Shopping sites are the most distracting.

In addition to the time and money apparently being lost by UK businesses, the YouGov poll of more than 2,400 people reports other problems.

A third of men quizzed said wilfing through tempting adult entertainment sites had damaged relationships with their partners.

Jason Lloyd, from price comparison Web site moneysupermarket.com, which commissioned the research, said: “Although people log on with a purpose, they are now being offered so much choice and online distraction that many forget what they are there for, and spend hours aimlessly wilfing instead.

“It’s important people do not allow unnecessary online distractions to get in the way when surfing the Internet, as it can affect productivity in the workplace and relationships at home.”

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