Should organisations introduce more meeting-free days?

Removing recurring meetings can free up time for employees to prioritise and work on projects that really matter.
By: | January 9, 2023

Shopify’s recent move to encourage employees to keep work meetings to a minimum has re-focused the attention on whether excessive meetings have undermined the morale and productivity of employees, particularly in a hybrid work environment.

Are meetings taking place simply to maintain status quos, asked Kirsty Adams, Chief People & Culture Officer and Practice Director, HR Consultancy at Resource Solutions, before adding, “Employees may also feel the need to be in attendance for either fear of missing out or because they feel that they need to be ‘seen’ to be valued, rather than for a specific contribution.”

A company-wide meeting-free day, Adams highlighted, can benefit employees by allowing them to tackle their workload without interruptions, including any bigger projects that a busy diary would otherwise interfere with.”

READ: You should not be in a work meeting, Shopify tells employees

She continued, “As well as improving staff wellbeing, removing recurring meetings from diaries altogether can be an effective way of ensuring team resources are being used efficiently, that time is given back to employees to either think or get the job done, which in turn ensures that good decisions and actions are ultimately taken. This sounds sensible but logistically, getting a meeting free diary day is often impossible unless the whole organisation gets behind the initiative.”