When I was a manager, I was never one of those folks who believed that the office had to be totally quiet, or that people couldn't talk. As long as the work got done, and everyone hit their monthly goals, I was fine with a bit of conversation and relaxation. I knew many other managers who didn't believe in it, though, believing that silence meant everyone would concentrate and work better.

That's why I'm glad this story from CNN titled Worker Chatter Is Good For Business came out. It's not a case study of any type, but they interviewed many managers and presidents of companies who believed as I do, that performance is what ultimately counts.

Of course, there does need to be a limit in some fashion. It can't be so loud that people can't talk on the phone. Also, consideration has to be made for those who do need things just a little bit quieter. Allow your office to have a little bit of controlled fun; it makes the work day go much smoother.