Instant messaging keeps the office chatter down

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.”


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