WASHINGTON, DC—According to a groundbreaking new study by the Department of Labor, working—the physical act of engaging in a productive job-related activity—may greatly increase the amount of work accomplished during the workday, especially when compared with the more common practices of wasting time and not working.
"Our findings are astounding: By simply sitting down and doing work, employees can dramatically increase their output of goods and services," said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor Charlotte Ponticelli, who authored the report. "In fact, 'working' may revolutionize the way people work."
Perhaps even more shocking, the study reveals that not working significantly decreases worker productivity, sometimes even resulting in no work getting done at all. Similar findings were reported in the areas of avoiding work, putting off work, complaining about work instead of actually working, pretending to work, and fucking around.
"Fucking around is in fact detrimental to the work process," the study reads in part.
To conduct the study, researchers split the staff of a Washington-based insurance company into two groups and assigned each group a series of tasks to be completed by the end of the day. The control group engaged in normal workplace activities, such as standing around and talking, staring vacantly at the computer screen, and surfing the Internet. The other group was instructed to do work and complete its given tasks. Incredibly, the group that did not do any work failed to get any work done, while the group that did do work finished all the work.
The researchers believe that these lessons could possibly be applied to fields outside the insurance industry.
"Based on the study, we can safely conclude that if an employee's job is to process expense reports, doing a crossword puzzle will result in the successful completion of that task zero times out of 100, while processing expense reports will result in the successful completion of that task 100 times out of 100," head researcher Richard Schoemberg said.
Jon Halper, a Baltimore-area small-business owner, claims that people used to laugh whenever he told them that the key to worker productivity was not checking friends' MySpace pages for hours at a time, but rather working.
"After this study, I feel vindicated," said Halper, who believes working is so important that for years he has required all his employees to work throughout the day. "Hopefully, more companies will embrace the idea that employees working on things that they are supposed to do is practically essential."
A similar study conducted at Harvard University over a period of three years attempted to determine conclusively whether working was more productive than various different subsets of not working. The results showed across the board that working is 100 percent more productive than listening to music and checking e-mails, 100 percent more productive than meandering around the office socializing with coworkers, 100 percent more productive than playing online Sudoku, 100 percent more productive than watching YouTube videos of nostalgic childhood television programming, 100 percent more productive than reading celebrity-gossip blogs while chatting with friends on Instant Messenger, 100 percent more productive than napping, and 98.2 percent more productive than not showing up to work.
Despite the staggering new findings, many American workers say that they still do not feel comfortable working on the job.
"I love coming into work every day," Arlington, VA sales manager Bryce Davidson said. "I get to have great conversations with [office receptionist] Sandy, challenge myself with Yahoo! TextTwist, and still have time to set my fantasy-football roster. Why would I want to ruin work by working?"