In hopes of improved workplace coordination, increased productivity and heightened morale, I have compiled ten of the most common reasons people don’t like meetings.
I’m just the messenger.
1. It could have been an email.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Isn’t “quick coordination” the reason god gave us email?
2. No snacks.
Is it really a meeting if there aren’t any snacks? I don’t think so. How am I supposed to think without food? Isn’t that what “food for thought” is all about? What else could that enormous bowl in the middle of the conference table be for?
3. Circular discussions that end up nowhere.
Is there anything worse than having a two hour meeting that ends with, “Alright, let’s circle back to that on Tuesday.”?
Yes, the meetings that go on and on and on and on and only when it’s five minutes to five do you realize that four separate people have given the same question in response to the original discussion point on the agenda, or in other words, there was literally no point in having the meeting.
4. Too many people.
You know those meetings where you have to actually raise your voice in order to be heard over the sound of other people chewing? There are way too many people here. But at least there are snacks. Good grief, someone finally got the memo.
Seriously though, too many people in a meeting is essentially a guarantee that nothing is going to be accomplished and everyone’s going to leave with more questions than they had going in.
5. Not enough people.
I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count as a meeting unless there are more than two people in the room. Two people talking at the coffee machine is called a chat.
6. Someone called it just to have the opportunity to throw around some buzzwords.
Buzzwords are really great for pretending you know what you’re talking about when really you’ve just read an article on “industry disruption”. Oh wait, actually I’m pretty sure everyone else in your department already read it too.
7. It took up fifteen minutes on the calendar but an hour in real life.
When you send a calendar invite for a meeting, the time you set as the duration is like a promise. Breaking this promise is like getting a puppy, telling him you’ll feed him every day and then coming back from a two-week vacation and wondering where he went.
8. It’s Tuesday. Meetings are supposed to be on Fridays.
Let’s just be realistic. In most offices Mondays are for getting over the weekend. Tuesdays through Thursdays are for real, honest-to-goodness work, and Fridays are for preparing for the weekend. Meetings are a lot like Fridays since they seem productive but nothing really ends up getting done. So meetings and Fridays go together like ice-cream and pie.
Really, it’s a lot easier to focus on buzzwords in a group setting on a Friday than it is to try and update pivot tables on that 38,465 row spreadsheet.
9. We’ve already met about this.
Redundancy is important in cybersecurity, not in discussing the results of last week’s survey.
10. Just kidding, we love meetings.
They’re the perfect excuse not to do actual work.
JK. LOL. Please don’t fire me for sending this to you.
Author’s Note: Thankfully this is a reflection on some past (not current) work experiences, and a compilation of things I’ve heard from less fortunate friends.