UCI News

Instant messaging good for the workplace, study says

Employers who worry that instant messaging causes disruptions at work might consider a new study co-written by UC Irvine political…

June 6, 2008

Employers who worry that instant messaging causes disruptions at work might consider a new study co-written by UC Irvine political science professor James Danziger that shows instant messaging actually has the opposite effect – and lowers workplace interruptions. The study found workers who used instant messaging on the job avoided more disruptive forms of communication such as the telephone, e-mail and unexpected office “drop-ins.” Instant messaging also allowed workers to get quick answers to general questions, control when and how they communicate with colleagues and postpone responses to a more convenient time. The study, published in the recent Journal of Computer Mediated Communications, involved 912 people who worked at least 30 hours per week and used the computer for at least five hours a day.