Instant Messenger a Productivity Tool, Employees Claim

November 17, 2004 ( - It may be simply a college procrastination tool to some, but Instant Messenger (IM) is changing the face of business communications.

In a Siemens Business Survey, 78% of employees asserted that they believe IM boosts productivity. Although skeptics might claim that it is just another way for workers to waste valuable time, IM seems to be taking the place of more traditional communication tools, indicating that the messaging service may actually be utilized more often than not for business-related functions. Eighty-four percent of respondents make fewer phone calls than they did before the age of IM, and 76% report sending fewer emails.

Lists of coworkers on IM are not usually confined to one’s immediate area either. The Siemens study shows that 26% of workers have at lest 20 co-workers on the list and 11% claim that they have over 50.

But are these employees following their boss’s wishes? Seventy-one percent of employees claim that their employers encourage the use of the tool for productivity purposes.

Siemens ( ) is an IT service provider with $6.1 billion in sales worldwide in 2003.