Prevent Your Team From Suffering at the Hands of Meeting Culture

You might know that I’m a huge advocate for asynchronous communication.

But you might not know why that is.

Asynchronous communication is when we communicate in a delayed time. It’s sending this newsletter for example, sharing a daily standup in Slack, or even sharing a loom video update instead of requesting a meeting.

A meeting however is synchronous communication, that’s done in real-time.

Before I get started on this, I want to stress that both synchronous and asynchronous are important. No two teams are the same,but each team can and should explore both concepts.

The problem today?

Teams that have transitioned to remote working over the last year are doing a great job, however, ask any of them how their calendars are, and they’ll tell you they are overwhelmed with meetings.

The corporate world now consists of back-to-back meetings, all day every day, and this has become the new norm.

But here, I’m telling you why you shouldn’t just accept this new ‘norm’.

You don’t have to.

You see, the problem with this is simple.

If your teams are spending all day every day in meetings, they are not:

  1. Being creative and innovative- because they are constantly in a state of reaction to the communication.
  2. Working in a flexible way- meaning if they need to take a break, or have some time to just ‘think’ (Cal Newport terms this ‘Deep Work’), they aren’t empowered to do that.
  3. Sustaining themselves- most people I know that are working in this environment often skip lunch, let alone be able to get outside for a walk.

Simply put, if we are driving the back-to-back meeting culture and NOT leveraging new ways of communicating aside from meetings and emails, we’re not empowering our teams with the flexibility that is fundamental for their wellbeing, creativity and mental health.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Yesterday I was discussing this topic on Clubhouse and a lady mentioned that she approached her senior leadership team around changing their meeting mindset.

They were open to new ideas- after all, everyone is suffering at the hands of meeting culture, right?

So, here’s a cheat sheet to help you get started with this today.

I’m approaching this case from a mental health and team wellbeing perspective, but there are organizations that will want to see the ROI from revisiting their communication strategies.

And they’ll be pleased indeed.

For every meeting saved, consider: the number of people in that meeting X average hourly pay = total cost of that meeting.

Let’s say you have a meeting with 10 colleagues, their typical salary broken down hourly is about $75 per hour (that’s a salary of $150K). That meeting is costing your organisation $7,500. You could choose to invest in our Revive Remote Program for the cost of that meeting :)

Meetings are costing us money, time and flexibility.

You’ll also find that when we improve the quality of meetings and remove the meetings that are no longer serving us and lean more into delayed communication- when you do have meetings, your engagement will improve.

That’s because you’ll focus on quality over quantity.