The Use of Instant Message to Reduce Interruption

Most people who use the instant messaging software (IM) for chatting in the work leading to increased breakage. In fact, a study recently published by researchers at Ohio State University and University of California at Irvine, showed that employees who use IM at work, report that suffer less disruption than their colleagues who do not use it. Research has shown that MI is often used in place of other more disruptive media, such as telephone, email and personal conversations. This, in fact, leads to increased productivity. This study was written by Dr. R. Kelly Garrett of Ohio State and Dr. James N. Danziger UCLA.

The recently published findings in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, said "the use of instant messaging leads to more conversations on the computer but are shorter than those held talks on the phone." Moreover, "the workers are quite strategic in the use of instant messaging. The MI is used to check with his colleagues if they're busy before interrupting them more invasive."

Some workers use IM technology to see if colleagues are available rather than contact them personally unexpectedly. Others use technology to get quick answers to general questions or to inquire about the flow of tasks to avoid unnecessary personal contact. The MI has no good use to solve problems or complex situations.

The technology allows users to control how and when they communicate with colleagues, and gives people the ability to signal the availability, or else postpone answers to more convenient times. Due to be more socially acceptable to ignore or reject a text message than a phone call, many use this technology to avoid conversations that may disrupt activities.

People who use MI report feeling as if they were interrupted less frequency. "The MI has shown some benefits, which for some time, still scared people," said Garrett. Result: "the effect of IM is actually quite positive." We expect to see more companies testing this technology in a formal way, in helping your employees to do more with less.

Copyright 2001 by The Herman Group.
Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged with.
Articles Roger Herman and Joyce Gioya, Business Futurists and associated consultants TDC Professional Training.
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Published on 27/08/2008.

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