Everybody's IMing At Work

from the backlash? dept

A new study from AOL (who might be a bit biased) has found that 43% of respondents claim they use instant messaging at work. This is up from 27% just a year ago. Meanwhile, of course, some companies are still banning instant messaging at work, assuming that it’s a “toy” or a waste of time. While it’s true that the misuses of instant messaging can be a productivity destroyer, those who use it well find they can’t live without it. It’s amusing, of course, to note that this study comes out just as AOL and Yahoo have exited the enterprise IM space, though maybe it’s because they realized most people were simply using the basic IM offering anyway. One aspect of enterprise IM that I find interesting, though (and which is not often addressed) is that many people use their personal IM account in association with a work account. I’ve been seeing more business cards with IM user names — but, unlike email addresses that go away when you leave your job, the IM account stays. It may be interesting to see if there are any eventual problems associated with this aspect of IM in the workplace.

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