Meetings have the potential to be a big time-suck, particularly if the agenda and action items are not clearly defined beforehand. According to a 2013 study by SFGate
(San Francisco Chronicle), employees consider "too many meetings" to be the "biggest distraction and waste of time presented by the workplace."
I wouldn't advocate for the complete abolition of meetings because the fact of the matter is that they're a necessary part of business. What I would advocate for, however, is a second look at how businesses conduct meetings. How many meetings are necessary to accomplish your goals? Are you structuring your meetings in a way that is both time-efficient and effective? Are the action items clear at the end of each meeting?
If you don't have good answers to these questions, I highly recommend picking up a copy of "Running Meetings" from Harvard Business School's Pocket Mentor series. This short book provides some great best practices for running efficient and effective meetings.
“Meetings are unavoidable--but they don’t have to be unproductive. This tool-packed guide will help readers transform meetings from time-sinks to springboards for effective action by learning how to:
- Set smart agendas
- Keep meetings on track
- Handle problem behaviors and time-wasters
- Motivate participants to take action”