The use of instant messaging (IM) technology at work is controversial, due to the interruptions it may cause and the difficulties associated with quantifying its benefits. In this study, we investigate the use and impact of IM tools in the workplace. Based on the communication performance theories and social network theory, we propose that the use of IM will result in work disturbance, improved communication quality and the establishment of trust between colleagues. These mediating variables will in turn enhance group outcomes. Our research model is validated by a survey of 253 working professionals. The data suggests IM can significantly contribute to communication performance in the workplace, where the benefits overwhelm the work interruption caused. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.