According to Atlassian, the average employee attends around 62 meetings a month—and considers half of those meetings to be wasted time. In fact, 91% of workers daydream during meetings, and 39% have even taken a nap!
With all the unproductivity (and let’s be honest, resentment) that meetings cause, it may be time to implement a day at your company with no meetings.
“No Meetings Mondays” has a catchy name, but there’s no reason you can’t set an internal meetings ban for any day of the week.
The real question is: Should you? We’ll help you determine if this policy is a good fit for your office.
What’s the Goal of Your Typical Meeting?
First, think about what types of meetings are most common at your company. Are they for brainstorming, sharing information, giving status updates, making decisions, or team building?
Seventy percent of employees feel they get nothing out of status update meetings (at which you share progress, obstacles, and future plans)—which means if you have a lot of them, designating a no meetings day is probably wise.
Furthermore, information sharing (presentations, speaker sessions, etc.), brainstorming and team-building meetings aren’t so crucial that they can’t be delegated to a different day of the week.
However, if your company is mainly holding decision-making sessions, blocking them from everyone’s schedules for a full day every week could actually harm your productivity.
How Do Your Employees Work?
Paul Graham, one of the founders of Y Combinator, explains that meetings are more harmful to a certain type of employee; specifically, “makers.”
“A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in,” he writes. “In addition there’s sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I’m slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning.”
The takeaway: If most of your employees are focusing on producing something—whether that’s code, content, reports, and so on—then declaring a no meetings day will dramatically increase what they’re able to accomplish on that day.
In addition, your team’s morale will go up. After all, everyone will be looking forward to that day of the work-week—and after it’s over, they’ll feel accomplished, engaged, and refreshed.
Will You Get Total Buy-In?
One of the reasons you shouldn’t implement a scheduled meetings ban is if you suspect there will be rule-breakers. Even just a couple of employees holding meetings on the off-limits day will make the entire policy weaken. Eventually, most people will probably ignore it.
That’s why no meeting days work particularly well for startups, which usually have smaller teams. Asana, a software company, started “No Meetings Wednesdays” when approximately 100 people were working there. That’s still a fairly big team—any bigger, and Asana’s meetings injunction probably wouldn’t have worked.
If you’re unsure if your employees will commit, just ask them! Holding a poll through platforms such as RubiBoard, will allow you to quickly and easily see how much enthusiasm there is for the no meetings day concept. If more than 70% of your team members are in favor, that’s a good reason to go ahead.
After asking and answering these three questions, you should have a much better idea of whether a meetings-free day is right for your office.
About the Author
Aja Frost is a freelance writer who covers career, lifestyle, current events, and social justice. Say hi to her on Twitter.
Tags: company culture, company meetings