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Instant messaging (IM) has the potential to be a powerful collaborative workplace communication tool. As this information and communication technology (ICT) becomes more diffused at work, it is important to consider how the workers will cope with yet another communication option. Using a cost-minimization perspective, this proposition-building piece links three types of costs associated with IM use, delay, access, and error, with two salient workplace concerns, productivity and communication overload. The delay costs associated with IM use are considerably lower than with other ICTs. While increased use of IM can enhance productivity, it might also lead to perceptions of overload. IM access costs include organizational access, interruptions, user experiences, user differences, and generational differences-variables that influence one another and can lead to either outcome. Error costs come in two forms: single-channel factors and message quality issues. These likely lead to increased communication overload and decreased productivity. Combining IM with other ICTs is a likely moderator in this relationship and might help overcome the single-channel factors. The resulting eight propositions and theoretical model provide a predictive framework to focus future workplace IM use studies.