Ding! Another Zoom meeting request. Ding! An in-person meeting in the office tomorrow.
Meetings, virtual or in-person, have become an employee trigger point in the past few years. How many are too many meetings? In this newsletter we are looking at all... Wait, got to go, hoping on a Zoom call!
HOW REDUCING MEETINGS INCREASES EMPLOYEE AUTONOMY
"Meetings are hindering, not helping, your employees. Over the last 50 years, meetings have grown in number and length, to the point where, on average, today’s executives are stuck in them for nearly 23 hours a week.
Despite evidence showing that 71% of executives find meetings to be unproductive, and the growing dialogue around meeting fatigue, meetings remain ubiquitous for the majority of organizations. Steps have been taken to reform meeting culture, such as Google and Shopify’s calendar purges and the introduction of initiatives such as meeting-free days across many industries. However, there is a reluctance to make change at systemic level, with many leaders still wondering how their teams could collaborate effectively without meetings." Learn more
MEETINGS AREN'T THE ENEMY
"Jennie Rogerson was working as the executive assistant to the founders of graphic design platform Canva when she noticed a problem: Her bosses were too bogged down by meetings to actually get work done.
"Their calendar looked like a massive game of Tetris, where they didn't have breathing space," Rogerson, now the company's global head of people, recalls. "They were constantly changing gears from topic to topic. "Sixty-seven percent of workers say excessive meetings prevent them from doing their best work, a 2019 survey from consulting firm Korn Ferry reported. Yet they're becoming more common. Meetings escalated especially noticeably when the Covid pandemic hit American workplaces in 2020, according to a Harvard Business School study of 3.1 million people in 16 cities.
Rogerson pitched her bosses on meeting-free Wednesdays — just for their own schedules, not as a company-wide initiative — so they could regroup, catch up on work and plan for the second half of the week. It worked well enough for Canva to institute it as a company-wide policy in 2020. "If you've been in back-to-back meetings, even having an hour break is just bliss," Rogerson says." Learn more
HOW TO CUT DOWN ON UNPRODUCTIVE MEETINGS
"Ever feel like you’re in too many meetings? You’re not alone: 92% of employees consider meetings costly and unproductive, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Now, many organizations are trying to cut down on the meeting clutter. In a dramatic step to improve productivity, Shopify went on a “calendar purge” and eliminated all recurring meetings involving more than two people. My company, Curriculum Associates, an edtech company that designs educational materials and assessments, developed a similar sentiment toward meetings but took a different approach to address the problem." Learn more