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Time burglars – the modern meeting

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Friday May 8, 2009 )

I don’t know why things have changed in recent years, but meetings seem so much more of a time waster these days.

Back in the days when I wore a suit and tie and worked in the “real” world; you got to a meeting on time and god help you if you didn’t. The idea of rescheduling meetings was reserved for catastrophic scenarios; whereas these days it seems the norm.

The wishy-washy approach to meetings these days has a serious impact on productivity. According to the International Study on Scheduling Trends 2009 from Doodle, managers and administrative staff in the USA and Europe spend almost five hours a week just arranging meetings.

The survey of 2,500 administrative and management staff from the UK, US, France, Germany and the Nordic region also found one in every six meetings is rearranged.

I think that our mindset hasn’t caught up with the technology available to us now. We still feel a need for so many meetings when often things needing discussing between multiple parties can be done so effectively using email or an impromptu, brief IM session.

Phone conferences are a pain in the ass unless you have a dedicated minute-taker as too much information tends to get lost or incorrectly transcribed.. then you wind up with a “but didn’t you say” or a “I thought Bob said he was going to do that” type situation. An IM session has the advantage of an accurate log to refer back to.

Far too many meetings still seem to also require people having to leave their offices to convene somewhere; which is really unnecessary in many instances given the online meeting software and services available now that allow us to see other participants via webcams and share desktops.


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