Modern Work

How to say No to Meetings

By Shawn Smith,

Published on Nov 22, 2021   —   2 min read


The frequent-meetings culture is costing a great deal of employees' time and creativity, as well as companies' resources. But meetings are not as necessary as we deem them and could effectively be avoided if the right steps are taken.

Meetings have long remained the primary means of collaboration at workplaces. From status reporting to drafting future policies, companies seem to have adopted meetings as an obvious communication channel for almost everything.

However, over time, we have learned that meetings cost much more in terms of monetary expense, and employees' time and creativity than it delivers. That leads to a need to optimise the whole meeting procedure and achieving a better working environment.

Cut Unnecessary Meetings and Reduce Meeting's Duration

Yes! There's no denying that despite all the distress they cause, meetings are necessary. But they should not serve as an obvious choice of communication rather be held when there is no other alternative.

Companies should also shorten meetings duration. According to Bonnie Hagemann, co-author of Leading with Vision, 30 minute meeting should be good enough. She also asserts that "whenever possible, don't call a meeting at all—sometimes a 5-minute phone call can resolve an issue."

The realisation of monetary cost should also be a catalyst for eliminating unnecessary meetings and reducing meeting duration. Hagemann suggests that she estimated the monetary cost of meetings of her previous company was $10,000 a week. The estimate helped their company to drop their meetings per month to half.


Being a boss, your main goal should be getting the job done as efficiently as possible. Dividing tasks and assigning them to small teams of 2 to 4 members, instead of allocating the whole project to one large group could be less hectic and will certainly save many torturous meetings needed to ensure collaboration.

Emily Tope argues that small teams are better than large teams when it comes to collaboration. Small teams embrace increased engagements, productive communication, a stronger support network, and more innovation. Research also suggests that large teams are more likely to have collaboration issues as compared to small teams.

Weekly Catchups

This point is a cue towards 3 meetings a week. To remain up to date with the progress, share new updates, and set goals, necessary meetings should be held with a suitable timeline.

Lara Hogan mentions in her book Resilient Management that the purpose of meetings is to push information and pull information in terms of sharing news and gathering progress/feedback.

A great idea for that is to set goals on Mondays, have check-ins on Wednesdays, and share the results on Fridays. This just doesn't provide the employees ample time to work on their tasks but it also turns out to be efficient in terms of monetary and creativity. Thus, the purpose of meetings get served, but the whole process of internal collaboration gets optimised.


All in all, having a few productive meetings on weekly basis can boost up the efficiency of work, save employees' time, and offer monetary benefits as well. Thus, this approach should be implemented in order to enhance productivity in your workspace.

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