IM or Instant Messaging are great breakthroughs in technology which have made communicating easier and faster. However, at the workplace there is mostly a protocol which is maintained in using IM to the best of the worker’s ability.

Here are a few instant messaging protocols one should keep in mind-

Chat Only If You Know The Person
This is basic etiquette of IM use at the workplace. If you have not been introduced personally, it is just too awkward to chat with the person on the other side; knowing the person on social networks in just not enough.

Greet First
It is but necessary that you greet the person at the other end before charging to the point. This is crucial, as you will know if the person is free to chat or not.

Be Mindful of A Person’s Communication Method
Some people have an aversion towards instant messaging. You should understand their preference for communication, especially the ones who are in higher authority like boss or manager. Some of them just like to keep everything on record.

Short Conversations
Conversations which require responses beyond simple ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’ should be done on calls or mails. Instant Messaging is meant for instant responses and not thinking or long responses.

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Conscious of Abbreviations
It is extremely important to keep a track of the abbreviations you use and if they are being rightfully understood by the person on the other side. The basic ones like- LOL (laughing out loud), U (you), Np (no problem) are generally used. Additionally, abbreviations with complex meaning should be avoided.

IM Not For Bad News
As a rule, never send bad news or news of grave importance via IM. It is possible that people might miss it or the reaction might be uncalled for. Keep only good or neutral news for the IMs.

Status Message
Status messages are to be adhered to when initiating a chat. If the status message says- away or busy, then you might be disturbing the person. Nobody likes a message popping on one’s computer screen when you busy in a meeting.


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