Why every workplace need more meetings

I know a lot of you are thinking : “What is this guy on?” but hear me out on this one, I promise you’ll come around.

Before moving on, there are always situations where what I’m about to say doesn’t apply, but in over 80% (a number I just came up with) of the cases I think this is applicable and correct.

A really big problem in the corporate world is meetings, they’re too long, have (way) too many attendees and are inefficient. Just think about it: How many 60 minute meetings have you had in the last 7 days? …Exactly….

So there are two types of meetings I want to address in this article, productive meetings (“regular meetings”, meetings where decisions will be made) and HR meetings.

Productive meetings

With productive meetings I mean meetings where you have a purpose of completing a task, making a decision or going over numbers, reports etc.

I have yet to see a meeting being scheduled at under 30 minutes. Even those are rare, most of the times they’re 60 minutes or more, which is a lot of time. Nevertheless, if we have a meeting for an hour, we always need the full 60 minutes. Why is that?

People are experts at adjusting to a time frame. If we have an hour meeting, we’ll talk a bit, grab a coffee, joke around, have discussions sidetrack and eventually get to the issue at hand. Not because we need to but because we can.. If we would cut that meeting in half, we’d still accomplish everything that we would need and more. Sure, we’d have to manage without that anecdote or YouTube video or Instagram photo, but that’s not the purpose of the meeting.

We need to stop wasting so much time in meetings, I would go so far and say this: Try to schedule 10–15 minute meetings, you’ll be astonished of the results.

HR meetings

These are all the meetings between an employee and somebody with HR responsibility (could be head of HR, a CEO, a project manager etc) with the purpose to discuss how they feel, what they need or want or whatever comes to mind. Usually these occur once every 6 months or in some cases once every month, and are scheduled at 30–60 minutes.

There’s no need for these meetings to be 30–60 minutes long if we just have them more often, cut them down to 10–15 minutes, even 5–10 minutes. It is enough and it will also result in always having relevant discussions. To have an HR meeting every month (or worse, every 6 months) can easily make topics “run out” of context because of time or because they’ve been forgotten. Which is far from the result we want.

Bottom line

Value time better and focus on the results. Cut down your meetings to 10–15 minutes (or more if you think that’s too much, adjust) and have them more frequently.

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