Instant messaging gaining popularity in U.S. workplaces

More than 11 million workers use IM, though many doubt the benefits
||Last Updated: 09/30/2004

About 11 million workers in the United States use instant messaging at work, according to a report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

That’s about 21 per cent of all instant messenger (IM) users. The most popular IM software in the workplace is AOL, followed by Yahoo and Microsoft.

And while the use of IM in the workplace is widespread, it’s not necessarily popular among those who are firing it up in the office. While 40 per cent think IM has led to better teamwork, 32 per cent said it encourages office gossip and nearly one in 10 workers found it distracting. It’s also adding more stress, according to five per cent of the users.