Monday, November 30, 2009

To IM or Not to IM? by Ashley A.

Many of us use instant messaging on a daily basis to communicate with family and friends, but is it appropriate to use instant messaging in the workplace?

“Over the past few years, electronic messaging has become widely used among workplace writers through computer-based instant messaging and chat programs, as well as through wireless devices such as “smart” cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) (Technical Communication, 62).”

Why is instant messaging used in the workplace?

Many people who work in an office will use instant messaging for short discussions, follow-ups, and immediate questions with colleagues and other business related contacts. Instant messaging has an advantage over e-mail because the messages are sent instantly in real time. Coworkers even use instant messaging to communicate with each other even when they just sit down the hall from each other or even when they sit in the next office or cubicle to the other person. Many people in the workplace also use instant messaging because the service is available on their iPhone and blackberry, these are phones commonly used by business professionals. Instant messaging is basically the text version of a phone call.

Instant messaging can be more beneficial for businesses that work in teams or have project groups rather than retailers or independent professionals.

Below, please find the 10 instant messaging Do’s and Don’ts:
  • DO adopt a user policy for instant messaging in your business
  • DON’T use instant messaging as a way to communicate sensitive or confidential information

  • DO organize your contact list to separate your business contacts from your family and friends

  • DON’T use excessive personal instant messaging at work
  • DO be aware that you instant messages can be saved and reviewed at a later time
  • DON’T compromise your reputation or your company’s liability in an instant message
  • DO be aware of viruses and related security risks while using instant messaging
  • DON’T share personal data or information through an instant message
  • DO keep your instant messages simple and know when to end the conversation

  • DON’T confuse our contacts with a misleading user


Dobrin, Sidney I., Christopher J. Keller, and Christian R. Weisser. Technical Communication in the Twenty-First Century. Print.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I love the graphic you chose. It really makes your post stand out. This is a great topic for today’s business world. I think everyone could use the tips you provided. The only suggestion I have is to try to get the You Tube video to fit in the blog better. Other than that, excellent post.