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Meetings Are Miserable

We must fight against the scourge of time-consuming, unproductive meetings

The Washington Postcolumnist George Will was once asked to explain his long-standing distaste for American football. The sport is, he responded, “violence punctuated by committee meetings.” To my mind, this is a savage condemnation not so much because of the violence, but because of the meetings.

If you, like many people, think work meetings are a huge waste of time, that might be because most meetings keep employees from, well, working: One survey of 76 companies found that productivity was 71 percent higher when meetings were reduced by 40 percent. Unnecessary meetings waste $37 billion in salary hours a year in the U.S. alone, according to an estimate by the software company Atlassian. And in case you’re wondering, COVID made things worse: The number of meetings required of employees has risen by 12.9 percent on average since the coronavirus pandemic began.

But the real problem with meetings is not lack of productivity—it’s unhappiness. When meetings are a waste of time, job satisfaction declines. And when job satisfaction declines, happiness in general falls. Thus, for a huge portion of the population, eliminating meetings—or at least minimizing them—is one of the most straightforward ways to increase well-being.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Atlantic.

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