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Do You IM at Work?

1:45 PM -- Do you use instant messaging at work? Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that one third of U.S. employees do -- many of them secretly, behind their employers' backs.

But more and more, this use of instant messaging is being endorsed by the employers themselves as a method of inter-office communication that is quicker and more effective than phone or email. In some cases, like here at Light Reading, it's even required to be signed on to an instant messaging client while working.

The telcos have certainly taken notice of this trend. Verizon Enterprise Solutions for example, has for a while offered collaborative services such as instant messaging and video conferencing that make it more and more unnecessary for employees to get up off their arses.

But now, the company is taking it a step further. It announced today a new service called the "Collaboration Calculator." (See VZB Offers Collaboration Tool.) With this free service, your company can have Verizon come in and conduct a survey of all the different ways in which employees communicate with each other. In the end, you're assigned an index score that determines how "collaborative" your company is. Verizon then recommends services -- such as instant messaging -- that can help improve the efficiency with which employees interact with one another based on its findings.

Of course it's mainly just a glorified sales pitch for its enterprise offerings. But as a person who uses instant messaging at work (and has mixed feelings over its effectiveness), it got me wondering who else out there is also doing it. Feel free to share your experiences on the boards below.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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