forms – Should the text box labels be above or beside the text box?

At a former employer, the interface guidelines strongly insisted that the labels of the form elements always be above the element

  1. It's more natural to follow
  2. It is easier to translate because the sizing will not have to change.

However, I often see this violated by placing the label on the left (or on the right for the right-to-left languages).

What is the best general approach?