Jason Fried of 37Signals presented a talk at Ted this October, explaining why so little work is actually done at work:

TedTalks Why work doesn't happen at work

A few Take-aways:

  • Cancel meetings - and see if work still gets done
  • Institute a No-Talk Thursday - nobody can talk to each other
  • Rely more on IM, email, and other non-interactive means to communicate to each other

This may be a good time to plug a 37Signals product called Campfire. It enables co-workers to be available for chat, but not miss anything when they’re not in the chat. It’s also a better solution than IM, since it allows easily for 3- or 4-way chats. Last but not least, you don’t need to install every IM client in the world to be available - all you need is a browser.