MANHATTAN, Kan. (CBS St. Louis) – A new trend called “cyberloafing” is making its way into places of work throughout the nation – and in a big way.

According to Newswise, the average worker spends 60 to 80 percent of his or her time Internet time at the office engaging in tasks that have nothing to do with their jobs.

The study that found out about the inefficiency of the American work force was conducted by a researcher at Kansas State University. Joseph Ugrin, an assistant professor of accounting at KSU, reportedly teamed up with John Pearson, an associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University, to look into the matter.

And when they investigated, they found that all employees – old and young alike – are deviating from work tasks during the day at alarming rates.

“Older people are doing things like managing their finances, while young people found it much more acceptable to spend time on social networking sites like Facebook,” Ugrin was quoted as saying.

Younger employees were especially prone to deviating from work-related activity, most frequently to check social networking sites during work hours, Newswise learned.

“We found that for young people, it was hard to get them to think that social networking was unacceptable behavior,” Ugrin observed. “Just having a policy in place did not change their attitudes or behavior at all. Even when they knew they were being monitored, they still did not care.”

Researchers also noted that the looming threat of managerial reprimand and the perceived presence of “Big Brother” could negatively affect office morale. However, without consequences, employers allegedly may not get anything out of their staff.

Ugrin pondered, “We don’t want to make everyone at work upset because the corporate office is watching over their employees’ shoulders … but what if workers are wasting all of their time online? Where’s the balance?”

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