Working from home undoubtedly has its perks, but if you thought it might mean fewer meetings-that-could-have-been-an-email, think again. Thanks to video conferencing, we’re just as bogged down as before.
Take, for example, the wry observations of Taylor Offer, the Austin, Texas-based founder of FEAT, an apparel company, and the Taylor Parker Agency, a digital marketing agency. He took to LinkedIn with a story that perfectly illustrates why extraneous meetings are the bane of working parents’—or any employees’, for that matter—existence.
Taylor spent the day working alongside an overly stressed friend employed by a large company. The friend had about eight meetings sprinkled throughout the day. Taylor eloquently explained that after listening to the meetings, he realized most of them could’ve been streamlined with emails or PDFs. Minutes of small talk, reading through presentations and waiting for everyone to join the call could’ve been spent doing actual work.
“After the work day ended around 6 he said, ‘Now I finished all my meetings, I have to do some work.’ He proceeded to work for a few hours on things he had to get done. If only he didn’t have meetings all day, he could have done his work in a few hours and been done by noon, with no stress…,” Taylor wrote. “Am I the only one who doesn’t think all these meetings are so necessary?”
He’s right. A recent study of 3.1 million remote workers by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that meetings are up 13 percent and workdays are 48.5 minutes longer than pre-pandemic. As parents struggle to work with kids around, leaving moms with only 2.6 uninterrupted work hours per day, and dads with only 5.1, it’s a waste of our exceedingly precious time to attend so many meetings that could just as easily be emails, memos or even IMs.
Time is money, people. Streamlining meetings would create a more convenient workflow for those taking care of loved ones, homeschooling kiddos and trying to stay on top of the chores that have doubled since the start of the pandemic. In other words, listen to Taylor. Just because we can Zoom, doesn’t mean we should.