Hey Ma, Would You Stop IM'ing Me? I Have to Work - InformationWeek

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8/21/2007
08:25 PM
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Hey Ma, Would You Stop IM'ing Me? I Have to Work

It's finally happened. Email has overtaken the telephone as the most common workplace tool. At least that's according to research done by Dimension Data which noted that a full 100 percent of the survey's respondents said they used email followed by 80 percent that use fixed-line telephones, 76 percent that use cell phones, and 66 percent that use instant messaging. Of course they use all those technologies. How else can

It's finally happened. Email has overtaken the telephone as the most common workplace tool. At least that's according to research done by Dimension Data which noted that a full 100 percent of the survey's respondents said they used email followed by 80 percent that use fixed-line telephones, 76 percent that use cell phones, and 66 percent that use instant messaging. Of course they use all those technologies. How else can they let their mothers know they're going to be late for supper?Dimension Data surveyed 390 IT managers and 524 enterprise users across 13 countries in the U.S., Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa.

NetworkWorld (somewhat naively, I might add) continues: "The study points out the three most ubiquitous technologies increase productivity the most. Over 70 percent of the end-users surveyed say e-mail impacts positively on their productivity, followed by conventional fixed-line telephony (53%) and mobile telephony (52%)."

And in the very next line, the article continues: "From a productivity point-of-view, the research shows that instant messaging, blogs and softphones are considered most disruptive, and could negatively impact productivity if not managed properly."

I have a question. What doesn't "negatively impact productivity" if it is not managed properly? IM can be from your girlfriend, your client, or a dirty joke from the guy in the cubicle next door. Who's to know? And if a researcher came around and asked you if IM enhanced your work's productivity what would you say? I'm betting it's a big fat yes.

Facebook is urging worker bees to hook up with each other on its site. Sounds fairly non-productive to me, but unless there is someone standing over the terminal of every employee who is to know what anyone is doing with their time?

I've got a radical idea. Let's stop trying to figure out if each tech tool is good or bad for the workplace and just focus on the results. That's what Best Buy did and it seems to be working out for them.

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