When we all went remote, we felt like back-to-back meetings exploded. That’s when we had the idea of Claap, an asynchronous meeting platform to solve this problem.
We wanted to check if this feeling was real.
What was the real impact of forced remote work on our meeting habits?
We decided to build a calculator to get real stats from our own Google calendars. To understand what was going on.
We're now opening the calculator. We hope it will help you understand your meeting habits.
PS: we are not Cambridge Analytica. We don’t capture any information about your Google calendar.
Our big question was to know the number of hours of meetings we completed over the past year. And the total number of meetings.
Connect your Google calendar to get both those numbers.
We excluded events that are not real meetings: only one person, longer than 5 hours, or events you declined.
I spent 741 hours in meetings over the past year. Sad story.
How do you compare with your peers?
People spend on average 23 hours per week in meetings.
That’s around 1,100 hours per year.
Now, if you’re looking to improve your stats over time, check out your week-by-week evolution. According to a recent study of 3 million people by Harvard Professors Raphaella Sadun and Jeffrey Polzer, people attended 13% more meetings after going remote. Did you?
This is my favorite one. On average, I used to spend 45min in each meeting. I know. That’s way too much. This is useless.
Then I changed my default meeting duration in Google Calendar from 1h to 25 minutes. You have no idea how much time I won thanks to this little change.
I’ve heard later on that some companies like Spendesk even included it in their employee onboarding.
Weekly team meetings, daily standups, 1-to-1…
We use those meetings to create routines and team dynamics. Yet, it’s easy to fill your calendar with those and forget about the rest!
If you have too many meetings, reduce their frequency. For example, skip weekly meetings once every month to free a week for deep & creative work.
Are you a meeting addict? Or are you surrounded by them?
If you’re in bucket 1, ask yourself if you need them. GitLab gives amazing tips to better handle asynchronous communication and skip meetings in its Handbook.
If you’re in bucket 2, this free app NoToMeeting is what you need. If someone is putting you into meetings that are wasting your time, NoToMeeting will send them an anonymous email with tips and a custom message to kindly ask them to stop.
Last year, I spent around 50% of my time in 1-to-1 meetings. After going remote, I felt like it was more important than ever. Yet I had trouble keeping time for deep productive work.
After testing many different format, I found out the best way to handle those meetings:
If you’re in sales, that’s something you want to max out. Check out this metric to see how much progress you’re making.
Focus your productivity efforts.
Pick your most time-consuming meetings and improve them.
Make them shorter. Update their schedule. Their format.
As they said, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with ;)
Meetings kill focus.
Improve your productivity and schedule "No meeting day".
When you’re doing deep creative work, meetings can disrupt your flow and decrease your productivity. That’s why you need to schedule one “Untouchable Day” per week, where nothing can interrupt you — no texts, no e-mails, no phone calls, and absolutely no meetings. But what happens when you get an incredible speaking invitation or somebody much more important has this one day to get together? Stick to this simple rule: Untouchable Days may never be deleted, but they can move between the bowling-lane bumpers of the weekends. They can’t jump weeks, though. Neil Pasricha
Ready to end Zoom fatigue and to beat the meeting madness? Start now.