Friday, 21 July 2017 12:02

Are your work chats private?

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A new report from Reportlinker Insights has found that 57% of respondents to a survey believe there is no guarantee that workplace conversations on things like Slack, HipChat, Campfire, Facebook, Lync, or Skype will remain private.

Reportlinker, a market research company headquartered in France, found that email, instant messaging, and smartphones have completely changed how we interact with work colleagues, family and friends. The survey covered 513 online working respondents who are representative of the US population and was conducted between 23 and 24 May.  

While dashing off a quick email is still preferred by 50%, those same respondents mentioned voice in person at 19%, voice by phone at 18%, group/chat/message at 8%, and the rest of the channels like video conference, fax etc don’t even rate.

But the new chat and collaboration tools are on the rise with 43% saying they now have to use them at work. The report found:

Despite the buzz around start-up group messaging applications such as Slack and Atlassian Confluence, Microsoft still dominates desktop communications. Skype, which it purchased in 2011, is the most popular instant messaging software, used in 29% of companies, while Microsoft Lync is used by 19% of respondents. And its plan to roll both into Microsoft Teams and Office 365 cements its lead.

However, 22% say they are also using Facebook Messenger to communicate with co-workers, which makes the launch of Facebook at Work look like a smart move for the social network. Its app is especially popular among employees at small companies — those with less than 50 employees — 41% of whom say they use it to interact at work.

It seems that the chat platform is not all that impacted by the hardware platform – desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets seem to be largely interchangeable. Interestingly chat/collaboration/IM is not necessarily the productivity panacea.

  • 33% say it has improved productivity because it speeds up response times but 24% of those object to the added pressure to respond.
  • 17% say they are less productive because they are constantly interrupted.
  • 48% say it has made no difference to productivity.

But the BYOD scenario is still an issue. When businesses allow unfettered access to the internet, they also open the door to malware, spam, cross infections, reduced productivity and inappropriate content. More than half the companies interviewed put policies in place to manage employee use of, and access to the internet.

Reportlinker

 

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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