Using Instant Messaging at work…for work?

I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal, recently, where the author was explaining how to get around block on using IM at work. It is actually a fascinating article about using web pages that hold IMs (such as Google GTalk does), but for multiple accounts, because of course, everyone is an a different IM account. This is actually a big problem for me, because I do have clients that are on AIM, and GoogleTalk, and MSN and Yahoo. I’m sure they are on more, but that is all I am aware of.

And the websites offered are kind of cool. I checked them out, and found l liked Meebo best as it was most IM like. And, if I had to worry about being blocked, I would probably use it.

But what I found odd was, that employers would want to block IMs. I use IMs for so much a part of my work. People often find it so much easier to IM me then to pick up the phone or write an email. They just have a quick question. They just want to know if I got an email, and they can get an instant response.

I can undestand it if the employers didn’t want their employees using IM because it wasn’t business related, but how would you septate them out? Are there some jobs where people still phone and email each other about things, rather than IM.

When I worked for an ad agency, low at least 10 years ago, we would have to get up and walk to the office where the person we wanted to walk to was, to find answers to questions. Sometimes this was all the way at the other end of the building and it made for a nice break.

But, of course, if employees are not suppose to use IM during business hours, because they have no need of it, then this article is a disservice to the poor employer who is trying to get his employee to be more productive. I can’t image what it is like having to rein in Internet time, because I know i often get distracted, what must it be like for the average office worker who doesn’t have a fast connection at home? I know studies have shown they waste a lot of time.

So, thanks, Wall Street Journal, for letting those poor employees out there, know the other way to waste time at work.


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