Earlier this year, Shopify made waves when it announced that the company would eliminate all meetings with more than three attendees from employees’ schedules. For the company, it was a chance to rethink its meeting culture and free up more focus time for its all-remote workforce. And though employees were allowed to add back recurring meetings two weeks later, the meeting reset has had long-term effects. In the first two months of this year, employees spent 33% less time in meetings compared to the same period last year.
It’s no surprise that many leaders are considering resetting their meeting practices. During the pandemic, time spent in meetings ballooned as Zoom, Google Meet, and other video platforms became the default option for collaboration. In spring 2022, Microsoft found that workers spent 252% more time in Teams meetings each week on average than they did in February 2020. A more recent study out of the University of North Carolina, sponsored by Otter.ai, found that companies spend an average of $25,000 paying employees to attend meetings attendees deemed “unnecessary.” Additional research has found that meeting overload is correlated with lower levels of employee engagement, productivity, and even meeting quality.
For leaders hoping to replicate Shopify’s results, here’s how you can use meeting resets to reshape meeting culture:
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