Fooling around on instant messenger – a kind of real-time email conversation – can actually improve worker efficiency, new university research suggests.
iTnews reports that US university researchers studied the work practices of 900 people who work at least 30 hours a week in an office and that mainly involve using a computer.
They found staff often used instant messaging instead of phone or face-to-face communication with co-workers, resulting in more succinct and less noisy communication.
Workers who used instant messaging reported being interrupted less often than those who didn’t because people would often send them a quick message to check if they were available rather than just walking up and interrupting them.
“The key take away is that instant messaging has some benefits where many people had feared that it might be harmful,” study co-author R Kelly Garrett told iTnews. “We found that the effect of instant messaging is actually positive. People who used instant messaging reported that they felt they were being interrupted less frequently.”
Read more about instant messaging
You can help us (and help yourself)
Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.
That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.
Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany supporter.
Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.