Many companies have strict policies when it comes to computer and Internet usage. Usually, there are even written documents that highlight all of the specific things that can and cannot be done on the computer. Surfing the web for personal use is highly frowned upon and in many cases will get the offending web surfer in trouble with management. Companies often will even have computer programs in place to block popular websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Contrary to this stiff policy, there has been recent research that shows that casual Internet surfing at work can actually increase productivity. A study was done where different groups of workers were given a computer task. One group was allowed to surf the Internet during a break while the other group of employees was not. The group that could freely surf the web returned to the task more refreshed and did more productive work.
Everything should be done in moderation. This is certainly the case when it comes to surfing the web while at work. If there is a specific policy in place that restricts this, one should generally follow the rules as to not get in trouble. However it may be a good idea for employers to review their policies in regards to this. The bottom line is that when an employee is allowed to take short personal breaks, you will generally return to work or refreshed and more focused. This is not a new concept, but unfortunately is something that is often forgotten by the management of many companies.