My other business is Articulate Marketing and we work with some of the world’s biggest companies, including Microsoft, HP and Symantec. The one thing I notice at all these companies is that people have diaries crammed with meetings; one after the other.
An early-rising friend of mine in a big company once said to me, “from six to nine, I work. From nine to six, I am worked.” I think this sums it up pretty well.
I think one of the reasons I get so much more done than other people is that I really try not to have meetings or, if I do, to have them on the phone or web video so I don’t have to spend time travelling. I’m also pretty good at concentrating.
Back in 2007, YouGov, the polling company, carried out a survey of 1,200 businesses in the UK and reported that unnecessary face-to-face meetings cost UK businesses £17 billion annually.
- 23 percent said that they could save 1-2 hours a week by not attending off-site meetings. 21 percent claimed 3-4 hours and 11 percent believing that 5-6 hours were at stake.
- Half of respondents said that they have to plan their work around external meetings.
- 67 percent travelled at least once a week for meetings.
- 82 percent believed that many of these meetings were unnecessary and could have been accomplished over the phone.
- Two thirds travel by car with obvious implications for carbon emissions.
Turbine exists to help people avoid wasting time on needless paperwork. But what’s the antidote to endless meetings?