1 in 10 admit IM blunders to colleagues or clients

1 in 10 admit IM blunders to colleagues or clients

Research by YourBusinessNumber has revealed that more than one in 10 of us have made the gut wrenching mistake of sending a personal message to a client or colleague and for many, the content of that message was NSFW.

The research shows that two thirds (66%) of us now communicate with clients and colleagues using instant message platforms such as WhatsApp.

What’s more, for a quarter of us, our personal phone also doubles up as our business phone, meaning the dangers of sending personal messages to professional contacts are heightened considerably.

No surprise then, that 14% of us admit to accidentally sending a personal message to a work contact that was originally meant for a partner, friend or family member.

68% said they did so directly, with 32% stating their message was sent to a group meaning more than one client or colleague may have seen it.

Luckily for a third, they were able to delete it before anyone managed to see it, but why does it matter?

Well the most common IM mishap is thankfully nothing more than a general conversational message, meaning it causes little more than confusion to those receiving it.

However, the second most common message sent in error was something of a generally rude or insulting nature, certainly not a good look in front of clients or colleagues.

But it does get worse..

YourBusinessNumber found that other IM errors also included sexts, memes, something rude or insulting about the person they sent it to and X-Rated photos of ourselves or another person.

George Lineker, Co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, commented: 

“The modern world is moving at 100mph and this is no different when it comes to the way we communicate. Instant messaging, in particular, allows us to fire off work related correspondents at speed and this has become the primary method of communication for many.

But with a quarter of us also using our personal phones to contact clients and colleagues, the danger of delivering a private message to the wrong person has never been greater. It’s a mistake that can cause minor confusion at best, or gut-wrenching embarrassment depending on what is sent.

If severe enough, the consequences can be far greater and a simple IM can result in lost business and even unemployment.

Luckily today, you no longer have to juggle two handsets to keep clear separation between your personal and professional lives. There are some very cost effective platforms, such as YourBusinessNumber, that will allow you to ensure no misguided meme ever reaches the wrong person again.”

Data tables

Survey of 3,718 UK people commissioned by ProperPR on behalf of YourBusinessNumber via consumer research platform, FindOutNow (28/04/22).

See full data tables online here.

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