Best Way To IM In The Workplace?
from the mostly-good,-sometimes-bad dept
The latest study on instant messaging in the workplace holds very few surprises. As expected, instant messaging is growing in the workplace, and it's being used for both personal and work reasons. The way the report is worded, it's a little strange, but it sounds as though some people focus on IM for work, and others for personal communications, but not many do both. As expected, some find IM helpful towards productivity, while others aren't so enthusiastic about it. It's basically described as a "mixed blessing," since it can make important communications more efficient, but can also be distracting and may lead to more "gossip." What struck me, in reading this, is that for all the talk we have about how to make email more productive, there hasn't been that much on the instant messaging side. One of the things, personally, that I've noticed is that I needed to learn to not respond to instant messages so quickly and let that distract me from whatever I was working on. Also, I'm curious about how people handle IM list management. Back before IM, people would lose touch with certain friends or old colleagues over time, which may have actually been a good thing. But, with your IM buddy list, they're there forever. More people seem to be shifting their IM names when they change jobs, or even setting up specific "@work" IM addresses that can be changed -- but that makes it more difficult to manage (and how do you deal with people who are both personal and work connections?). It seems that, like with email, it's about time that there were more commonly established best practices in making IM productive in the workplace -- and doing so in a way that doesn't mean completely starting over from what you already have.