UK professionals are falling out of love with the BlackBerry as a surge in instant messaging use at work has made laptops the most popular office gadget of 2007, according to ntl:Telewest Business.
The research, which investigated the most popular gadgets and applications in today's office environment, saw laptops claiming 43 per cent of the vote while instant messaging took second spot with 24 per cent.
Web chat scored third in the poll, followed by the mobile phone. However, only video conferencing scored worse than the BlackBerry, with just four per cent.
"The rise in flexible working and use of social media has no doubt played a part in the increasing love of the laptop for work and play," said Stephen Beynon, managing director of ntl:Telewest Business.
"While the BlackBerry is an extremely useful tool, the understanding of joined-up communications that has been driven by the uptake of social media means that the way we communicate at work is changing too."
A third of office workers said IM was a flexible and easy-to-use application for staying in touch with colleagues and maintaining a work/life balance.
"As more applications enter the business communication arena, organisations need to ensure that they are able to get the most out of these new communications technologies," added Beynon.
"Equally, employers should realise that technologies that had once been confined to the consumer space can now bring something very tangible to the workplace."
Video conferencing use was hampered by the fact that very few companies have the facilities (12 per cent) and in addition 71 per cent of respondents didn't understand how to work it.
Although nearly half the office workers who did use video conferencing said it helped them be more effective professionally.
Of course RIM, makers of the BlackBerry, would beg to differ with the survey's findings, as the company is still seeing impressive growth and is constantly adding new features and applications to its range of devices.
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