Link to June 10 Hot Hardware article, "Study Finds Instant Messaging Helps Productivity".
Quote: The results of a recently published study of workers' instant messaging (IM) use shows that IM can actually improve workplace productivity. This contradicts a widely held belief that IM in the workplace is a hindrance to productivity. IM is often perceived as an interruption, and as such, "it can significantly hinder productivity by disrupting thought processes and work flows, causing individuals to take longer to complete tasks."
A Slashdot post expresses skepticism of these findings: Also another study recently found that water is wet, and a third study found that most studies waste money.