Who Needs a Telephone?
What most people once considered a teenagers toy is quickly finding its way into the workplace and being used as a valuable tool on ones desktop. Instant Messengers have rapidly replaced other useful office tools such as email and telephones. It has replaced the need to walk down the hall to ask a co-worker a question and has decreased the number of boring meetings employees must sit through on a regular basis. This technology is more popular among sales teams, which can use it for fast communication with customers (Steen). Along with all of the benefits of instant messaging comes disadvantages such as security concerns and potential legal issues for companies whose employees use it. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and all employees that have had the opportunity to use instant messenger in the workplace instantly realize that it is one amazing tool the saves time and increases productivity.
Instant Messenger (IM) is Internet software that can be downloaded in a matter of minutes and allows people to have real conversations online. It started with teenagers talking to several friends at the same time and has grown into a valuable tool among business users. "According to Jupiter Media Metrix, Inc., approximately 54 million Americans now use IM including 13 million who use it at work" (Grossman). Currently, 84 percent of all organizations use some sort of instant messenger program, according to a report issued by Osterman Research of black Diamond, Washington (Bowman).
Some of the advantages of a business having an instant messenger application are things such as communicating long distances and improving communication between coworkers and clients. Instant messaging can reduce long distance phone bills by allowing employees to communicate in real time just as they would in a telephone conversation or face to face ("MSN Messenger-An Indispensable Workplace Tool"). Instead of getting up from their desk, walking up or down steps and traipsing down long hallways just to ask someone a question all they have to do is double-click the persons name on their contacts list and type their question to get an instant answer. It is faster and easier than making abrupt phone calls or waiting what seems like hours to get a response back from an email (Robo). One network administrator said their company encouraged the use of IM within the office and it actually saved them a ton of time. They use them all the time for work-related questions and conferences (Mahala). A staff assistant with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said she chooses to instant message co-workers because it is more private than talking on the phone. When you talk to someone on the phone everyone around you can hear what you are saying and that is how a lot of corporate gossip can take place (Bowman). In my opinion, it is beneficial for employees that work close together in small offices to use instant...