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I'm curious. I've never done an office based job, and I'm interested in what goes on in meetings, particularly zoom meetings. (Prompted by a thread about back to back zoom meetings which I didn't want to hijack)
If you're in meetings all day, how do you get any work done? Or are the meetings the work?
I tend to think of meetings in terms of commitee meetings, but are they like say a solicitor meeting with a client, or similar?
I know, I'm clueless. I'm just curious about so many jobs being all meetings.
I imagine this varies hugely depending on which company you're working for.
Where I currently work, it's common practice to be in meetings all day. The truth of it for me is that I don't consider myself to have achieved anything when I have a day of meetings. I find that you spend all day talking about what you're going to do rather than just getting on with it. They also seem to go on foreveeeeeer when could easily be an email or 2 minute conversation.
Tomorrow I have a three hour committee meeting where we’ll discuss live projects and cases, offer teams steers on how to proceed next, and agree how we will update the Board; followed by an hour long meeting of a separate committee where we’ll decide which pipeline cases to either open or consider doing further research into. Today I had a meeting where we discussed and agreed the governance structure and terms of reference for a new function, and another where we caught up and made sure we were all on the same page regarding our internal audit programme.
So yes, agree with IHTC, it does depend on your company and specific role. For my role, the meetings are a big part of my work. For several of our Executive Directors, they typically spend over 80% of their time either in meetings or giving presentations.
Like @IHTC, I often find that we spend so much time talking about what's needed and have so many meetings that there's very little time for actually doing things. Within my limited powers, I try to shield my team from too many meetings and keep their time free for actual tasks, and make sure my meetings have a clear agenda and goal so we can find agreement and move forward quickly. Some people like to set up weekly/ daily standup meetings just because, and those can be a real time suck.
I work in projects and meetings are often about escalating issues that have arisen with the relevant people and putting plans in place to address them. Other meetings to track and report on progress, some to plan new projects.
Meetings aren't the 'doing' but are necessary. It's very easy to spend all day sat in meetings and actually have nothing physical to show for your day at work in my area. I try and cap meetings as a result.
I find that you spend all day talking about what you're going to do rather than just getting on with it. They also seem to go on foreveeeeeer when could easily be an email or 2 minute conversation
If this genuinely is the case (extended meetings that are far longer than they need to be that happen so often they stop actual work from being done) then why doesn't anyone do anything about it?
It sounds hugely inefficient and probably goes hand in hand with the 'big job where people do tens of hours of unpaid overtime each week'.
Sounds like self perpetuating where the workaholics who either live to work or use their long hours that they 'have' to do to hide at work from boring domestic responsibilities run the show and sod anyone who wants to work more efficiently.
Probably the same people who in normal times travelled all over the world for meetings or spent hours in the office late into the evening.
I wonder how 'meetings' compare in countries where presenteeism and long hours is seen as poor working practice not a sign of a committed employee?
- discuss progress on activities
- agree deadlines to get things done
- make decisions
- general 'touch base' on a regular basis (combined with the above, not a separate meeting)
We're pretty good at using meetings to do the above.
If I get invited to a meeting where the organiser hasn't bothered to set any structure or agenda, I pointedly go back and say " why am I invited to this? Why do you need me? ". It doesn't happen often but I give that message as I've got work to do and not prepared to give up an hour of my day on a talking- shop!