Robert Behn, a professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, makes a case in this month's issue of his public management report that effective management -- which motivates people to creatively develop effective strategies for producing better results -- cannot be achieved through e-mails, conference calls, or telecommuting in your pajamas, but rather through creating face-to-face buzz. Behn also contends that people are more productive, creative and effective when they work closely together.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm in my pajamas and slippers as I write this post. Still, we live in an age where communication in the workplace is much the same regardless of whether we're sitting in our cubicle or on our sofa at home. We send e-mails and instant messages or make phone calls, even when our coworkers are a few doors down. We're also seeing more and more young people, who generally want to communicate using the latest technologies, entering the workplace. But does this hinder or help effective management and productivity? How are your agencies making the culture shift, or finding a happy medium?