Research by YourBusinessNumber has revealed that more than 1 in 10 of us has made the gut-wrenching mistake of sending a personal message to a client or colleague, and for many, the content of that message is 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 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 contract that was initially 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 could delete it before anyone managed to see it, but why does it matter?
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 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 insulting about the person they sent it to and X-Rated photos of ourselves or another person.
George Lineker, the co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, commented: ‘The modern world is moving at 100mph, and this is no different in how 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 phones to contact clients and colleagues , the danger of delivering a private message to the wrong person has never been greater. Depending on what is sent, it’s a mistake that can cause minor confusion or gut-wrenching embarrassment. 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 a 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.’