Let the backlash begin, one employee at a time.
One of my favorite business cliches is: Those who can, work. Those who can't, meet. Meetings have become the bane of workplace life, multiplying across organizations as team concepts and committee culture spread like nasal drip in a McDonald's playland.
That's why former hedge fund manager and business author Andy Kessler's column in the Wall Street Journal Jan. 2 resonates so well. He offers examples of how to reduce meetings and limit time spent in them. He underscores a sentiment many workers fear voicing in today's hyper-collaborative, poser-friendly workplace: Leave me alone and let me do what I do best.
If I were to set up a workplace, I would give everyone an office with a window (interior or exterior) and a door. Some smaller, some larger, depending on rank and status. And the conference room(s) would be relegated to the fringes, accessible but tactfully tucked away like restrooms. Better yet, sprinkle a few high-top tables with back-less stools (4 max) here and there for some small group time if it's really needed.
It should be no surprise that a CC-ing e-mail culture coincides with multiple Microsoft Outlook meeting requests. So here's my contribution to Kessler's suggestions: All company meetings can only be held outside of the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. time frame. That would guarantee everyone along the company food chain has an incentive to keep them short and rare.
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