Companies Banning Instant Messaging

from the wait-a-second... dept

In the past month or so I’ve seen a large number of articles talking about how “instant messaging in the workplace” was getting more popular. It all started with a Wall Street Journal article about the subject that we made fun of for being a bit late to jump on the bandwagon, and then Time wrote the same story as did a large number of other publications. It seemed that with all these mainstream publications finally writing about IM at the workplace (which has been used for many years), it was finally going completely mainstream. However, now it turns out that there’s increasing backlash to IM at work from many companies. While they all explain the reason for banning IM as “security”, I’d say they’re really doing it because they think employees are wasting time talking to their friends and family. What they don’t seem to realize is that IM can become a productivity enhancing tool as well, making it much easier to communicate short bursts of information in a meaningful and useful way. They even talk about how EDS’s response to that point is that email is “good enough” for employees. Right. Then they never should have offered email because telephones are “good enough”. Or, hell, why bother with the telephones, interoffice mail combined with the US Postal Service was certainly “good enough”…

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