Another meeting to attend, and you won’t get any work done again today! That’s a common complaint in some companies, yet the schedule of meetings continues. There have been some changes with teleconferencing and videoconferencing, but the gatherings still occur with regularity.
A new study coming out from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte (Steven Rogelberg) finds that even though 50% of attendees complain about meetings, more than 60% of these gripers concede that they don’t mind attending. The most surprising result is that an ideal day for many would include at least one meeting.
How can you explain the disparity?
- Social: Meetings can be social events. It is not necessarily about what happens at the meeting itself, but the give-and-take before the meeting when you actually get out of your cubicle or small office and connect with others.
- Filling Time: Another outlook is that it looks like you are working since you are in attendance, but you don’t have to do much. You can look busy all day if you have multiple meetings.
What’s the answer? You certainly do not want to call more meetings than necessary. However, from a productivity standpoint, if you are in charge of a department or a company, you might want to be sure that all of your direct reports have a chance to interact at some point during the day. In some cases, you might have a short meeting without the meeting agenda, a free-flowing exchange of updates and challenges in a 15-minute session. You learn more about each other’s work and still have more time to devote to your own projects while filling the need for conversation and connection.