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Pencil in Face Time

Sometimes, communicating face to face can be more productive.

©iStockphoto.com/francisblack

Businesses and corporations strive to build up brand loyalty on the customer side while also shoring up internal loyalty. Yet without some outlets for person-to-person interaction, employees may feel removed from the corporate identity. E-mail and conference calls have made conducting business far more convenient. But some of the details can get lost in the shuffle of laptops and mobile devices.

Neuroscience research examining how our brains respond to office work has underlined innate human desires we wish to fulfill through work, including the need to bond. In fact, studies have shown that addressing this bonding desire is the most effective way to boost employees' dedication to the company. It also serves to uphold the business mission and values [source: Nohria, Groysber and Lee].

In the face of an economic recession, many companies are cutting parties, outings and conferences from the budget. But giving face time doesn't have to cost money. Intel, for instance, tested a no e-mail day one Friday per month to encourage in-person communication. The results weren't exactly through the roof because of the IT employees' busy schedules that took them away from their desks; but, 60 percent of participants recommended expanding the program to other departments [source: Zeldes].

Even if e-mail is necessary, supervisors should promote teamwork, collaboration and sharing best practices that help employees bond with another [source: Nohria, Groysber and Lee]. If no man is an island, companies ought to act accordingly.

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