The stock market is declining and the national unemployment rate has reached its highest level in decades, but it's not stopping many American workers from playing online games while on the job. In fact, economic woes and ongoing threat of job loss have only increased online gaming levels.
According to a new survey conducted by Candystand.com, the popular free online entertainment destination, 58 percent of respondents admit that the economy has impacted their job in some way, yet more than half (52 percent) admit they now play more online games at work than ever before. While American businesses have estimated losing $650 billion through workplace distractions, some experts argue that taking breaks on the job can improve productivity and effectiveness.
"Americans are now more stressed than ever. Playing a game or two on Candystand.com is a great way to relieve the pressures of everyday life and to clear your head, without leaving your office," say Scott Tannen, president of Funtank, the owner of Candystand.com.
Professor Robert Bloomfield, who oversees the doctoral program at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, is not too surprised by the results. "Behavioral research has shown, time and time again, how difficult it is for people to put off instant gratification even when the long-term costs are high. So I am not surprised that people would put their jobs at risk for a few moments of fun. Also, a tough economy is forcing people to spend much more of their time online. They are using collaboration tools like WebEx and Skype to save travel costs for their current job, or they are using social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook if they are building connections should they need a new job. Either way, the temptation of online gaming is only a click away."
Candystand.com's "All in a Day's Play" survey of 1,418 working Americans nationwide found that a staggering 64 percent of American workers confess to gaming online at least once a day while at work, with 35 percent reaching for the mouse multiple times a day. Entertainment value continues to rank high, with 32 percent admitting to turning to the online gaming world during the workday for just that reason, while nearly one in five (18 percent) find it as a source of stress relief—enough to help ward off the uncertainty of the economy which has left so many Americans uneasy.
Among other interesting findings:
• Forty-six percent of respondents said they have been caught by their boss while playing an online game, but a shocking 58 percent of employees say it's actually their boss that was the one caught red-handed.
• Summer vacations aren't the only thing that keeps teachers away. The survey found the education industry made up the biggest group of online gamers at 18 percent. They are followed by the retail and sales industry and government workers at just over six percent respectively.
Additional information available upon request at www.candystand.com.