The Ol' Ball & Chain v.3

"During the preholiday crush last December, a computer maker asked staffing company Adecco SA for 300 additional factory workers -- immediately. Using an instant-messaging program, Senior Vice President Steve Baruch tapped managers in three states to line up the workers within hours. If he had relied on email and phone calls, Mr. Baruch says, the same process could have taken him as long as three days.

"Instant messaging is invading and changing the workplace. Employees started to sneak instant messaging into the office in the late 1990s, but now more companies are endorsing it. Faster and more casual than email, instant messaging can foster broader collaboration among employees even as it further blurs the boundaries between work and life...

"Unlike email, instant messaging offers ‘presence’ -- a snapshot of which colleagues are available at a given moment, world-wide. Together with allied Internet technologies such as blogs and wikis, it is ‘changing the way people collaborate,’ says Andrew McAfee, an associate professor at Harvard Business School. Companies ‘increasingly react to situations and problems on the fly, not solely by hierarchy,’ he says.

"Instant messaging can ‘scare managers who were taught they need to be in control,’ says Marty Anderson, a professor at the Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. But others embrace the technology."

(“Instant Messaging Invades the Office; Companies Say It Spurs Broader Collaboration -- And Scares Some Bosses.” by Carola Mamberto. Wall Street Journal: July 24, 2007. pg. B.1)

FASTER is better! 24/7 is wiser! Instant is smarter! If the world is in a frenzy, be sure to get swept up in it! Who's in control, and who is out of control?

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