We’re not big fans of meetings and neither is Jason of 37 Signals his post has received tons of comments on the the one hour meeting:
It’s no mystery that we’re meeting averse, but here’s another reason why we think meetings are toxic: There’s no such thing as the one-hour meeting.
If you’re going to schedule a meeting that lasts one hour and invite 10 people to attend then it’s a ten-hour meeting, not a one-hour meeting. You are trading 10 hours of productivity for one hour of meeting time. And it’s probably more like 15 hours since there are mental switching costs associated with stopping what you’re doing, going somewhere else to do something else, and then resuming what you were doing before.
Is it ever OK to trade 10-15 hours of productivity for one hour of meeting? Sometimes, sure, but it’s a heavy cost. Meetings are expensive when you think about the opportunity cost. On a pure cost basis, meetings can quickly become liabilities, not assets. So when you schedule that one-hour meeting for 10 people think about the 10-15 hours lost. Is it still worth it?
I’m sure a few of our readers also read the Signal vs. Noise blog but I wanted to ask those who don’t what they think. One of our friends likes doing 15 minute-and-under stand-up meetings. Is that better? Is it still worth having them? How do you keep meetings from eating up time, or do you? Do you have any suggestions about maximizing value and minimizing time of meetings?