Seth Godin discusses the new rules for meetings and conferences. His main point: If all your doing is going to the office and sitting quietly at your desk, then your employer is wasting your time and money making you come to the office. You could do that kind of work anywhere, including at home, and save the cost of commuting with oil at $130 per barrel.
If you’re a knowledge worker, your boss shouldn’t make you come to the (expensive) office every day unless there’s something there that makes it worth your trip. She needs to provide you with resources or interactions or energy you can’t find at home or at Starbucks. And if she does invite you in, don’t bother showing up if you’re just going to sit quietly.
I’ve worked in three companies that had lots of people and lots of cubes, and I spent the entire day walking around. I figured that was my job. The days where I sat down and did what looked like work were my least effective days. It’s hard for me to see why you’d bother having someone come all the way to an office just to sit in a cube and type.
The new rule seems to be that if you’re going to spend the time and the money to see someone face to face, be in their face. Interact or stay home!