Could current circumstances see a reset of meeting culture, are we about to witness a happy by-product of a terrible situation?
As we all being tackling online meeting could this be the catalyst for a reset of meeting culture? We’ve explored the hidden cost of crappy meetings and it’s fair to say we have too many and too many are bad. But, something interesting is happening. As we move to enforced home working for many of us our meetings have moved online and we’re having less of them. For some reason meetings on a whim tend to be less popular. Endless rounds of announcements can be done much easier via email or a messaging app. The meetings we are having are becoming more effective by default as we’re only pulling people in who need to be there and where we have more certainty over the outcomes we want.
Why is behaviour different?
It’s a strange situation because the technology that has led us into every increasing rounds of meetings is the very technology we are relying on to keep us connected. From my personal perspective an online meeting feels like a bit more effort, it feels like it should be more effective. Certainly that’s the case when it’s the only format we can actually use. When the technology is a support for face to face the behaviours we see are markedly different. Has this got something to do with people being alone? It’s a tricky question to answer but early indications are a positive one when you consider the amount of money we waste on bad meetings.
Do we just have bigger things to worry about?
Well without mentioning the C-word I think we can all agree that there are bigger things going on in the world than our daily stand-up. Depending on the length of lockdown though this will dissipate and we will have to get back to business as usual. Take Amazemeet for example, we are a truly distributed team working 100% remote. Our team is spread across Europe and Asia, apart from a general sense of worry our working process hasn’t been affected. Whilst most companies don’t work this way they are having to quickly get to grips with a distributed model. Once they get it down i’m sure many will wonder why they spend so much on office space! From a meeting culture perspective though i doubt they will fall back into there old habits, especially if there isn’t a face to face element.
The opportunity that exists around a reset of meeting culture is massive. If we can move to a place where meetings are about effectiveness then we can save a ton of money. I mean billions of dollars, pounds, euros, we can also free up time to actually get work done and have more time to do things we really enjoy. It’s an exciting time especially for Amazemeet as we play a key role in helping drive that effectiveness.
Will a reset of meeting culture last?
So cop out answer, it’s hard to predict. What is certain though is that business behaviour is certainly secondary to what we do in our personal lives. Looking back on the 2008 financial crisis gives us some indication, people tend to gravitate towards things that are considered a sin; chocolate, alcohol are good examples. It’s fair to say after lockdown many of us will want to socialise again, but this doesn’t mean we need to slip back into bad habits at work. I’m sure most companies will have realised the benefits of more flexible working and less pointless meeting. Maybe we’ll see some bold executives and employees actually stand up and raise this. Hopefully we’ll look back on this period of time and draw positives as well as negatives.