Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Business IM Use at 26 Percent

AOL’s third survey of instant messaging use shows IM in the workplace has grown. About 26 percent of surveyed businesspeople say they use IM at work.

At-work IM users now send IMs to communicate with colleagues (58 percent), to get answers and make business decisions (49 percent) and even to interact with clients or customers (28 percent). Twelve percent have used IM at work to avoid a difficult in-person conversation, AOL says.

Business and at-work users say they use IM because it “enables me to keep up with family and friends (47 percent). IM also “helps me to stay in touch with people I normally wouldn't be in regular contact with (43 percent).

About 38 percent say IM “helps me to get more done each business day.” About a quarter say IM is useful because it “enables me to check in on my children, providing peace of mind.”

For working moms and dads, IM’s impact is higher than the national average. In fact, 83 percent say that their day-to-day business lives have benefited from instant messaging, AOL says.

Some 11 percent say IM enhances productivity enough that they “leave the office earlier.”

Among those who use instant messaging for business purposes, 13 percent say they have their IM screen name printed on their business card, while six percent say they write it on the business cards they exchange. About 26 percent of polled New Yorkers have their IM screen names printed on their business cards.

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