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The no-meeting day concept

June 1, 2018

By Mary Corrado, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE<br /><br />One of the newest trends in business is implementing “no-meeting” days.&nbsp; When I first read about this trend I was excited, because I often get exhausted just looking at my calendar!&nbsp; I thought this sounded ideal for me.&nbsp; But the more I thought about it, I started to wonder where all those meetings would go.&nbsp; Would I just be busier on the other days?<br /><br />I have come to the conclusion that for this no-meeting concept to work, it should not only be about making our time more productive on days without meetings, but also making meetings more efficient and productive.&nbsp; I think that for a no-meeting day plan to be successful, meetings in general would need to be reduced.&nbsp; One article I read stated that according to a study by Atlassian, employees attend an average of 62 meetings per month and half of those are considered to be a waste of time by the attendees.&nbsp; Another study by Microsoft surveyed 38,000 workers in 200 countries and found that they spend 5.6 hours per week in meetings.&nbsp; 69% of those respondents thought the meetings were unproductive.&nbsp; So, this tells me that not only are we having too many meetings, but the meetings we have are often not efficient.<br /><br />I have so many doubts over whether this no-meeting concept could really work, but I have yet to find an article that states otherwise.&nbsp; Professionals and business leaders are raving about this and claiming an increase in productivity.&nbsp; I think it seems to work best for people in positions that need to be creative such as designers, engineers, product managers, etc.&nbsp; Positions like these require one to be able to focus for hours at a time without interruption.&nbsp; But how would this work in a fast-paced, highly collaborative, customer service-oriented company such as ASE?&nbsp; I’m still trying to figure that out.<br /><br />One company I’ve read about over and over again that is a huge proponent of no-meeting days is Asana.&nbsp; I checked out a recent blog post from them to see what they suggest and what benefits they’ve seen.&nbsp; This is what I found:<br /><br /><ul><li>Benefits:&nbsp; They’ve experienced fewer disruptions, greater task completion on no-meeting days, and greater employee satisfaction.<br /><br /></li><li>How it Works in Practice:&nbsp; They ask employees to be mindful and encourage everyone to use their best judgement when scheduling meetings on a no-meeting day. There are occasions when they have to schedule meetings, for example: a client is only able to meet on a Wednesday. Exceptions to their No Meeting Wednesdays do occur, and the main goal is to avoid scheduling internal meetings on this day.<br /><br /></li><li>How to Implement it in Your Company:&nbsp; If you want to implement a no-meeting day policy at your company, they recommend adding the no-meeting day as a recurring event for the entire staff as a reminder to keep those days free.</li></ul>I haven’t yet declared any of my days to be barred from meetings, but I have tried to schedule all my in-office meetings on Mondays or Thursdays.&nbsp; This allows me to know ahead of time the days I need to be in the office, and keep the rest of the week open for off-site meetings, events, etc.

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