If you sometimes feel like your days are being taken up by meeting after meeting, leaving you little time to get your actual work done, you’re not alone.
According to research, 70% of meetings are keeping employees from completing their tasks, and remote working has only exacerbated the problem, increasing the amount of meetings by one per day on average.
While communication and ensuring employee engagement is high are increasingly important, scheduling in a Zoom or Teams call isn’t necessarily the best way to achieve this. In fact, a number of organizations including Google, Zapier, and Salesforce are shunning meetings completely and turning to no-meeting weeks to increase productivity and work-life balance.
A separate study found that a 40% reduction in meetings equated to employee productivity increasing by 71%, predominantly because workers felt more empowered to manage their own workloads and hold themselves accountable for reaching their targets or achieving their goals.
Their stress levels also reduced by 57%, employee engagement rose to 44% (it’s estimated that employee engagement in the U.S. comes in at 21% on average with 17% of workers actively disengaged), and communication became 65% more efficient.
What exactly is a no-meeting week and how does it work? Based on the concept of asynchronous or non-linear work, no meeting weeks allow workers to complete their tasks on their own time, without the distraction of team meetings. The theory is that by removing meetings from the equation, workers can instead focus on their work on a deeper level.
For Salesforce employees who participated in the company’s most recent deep work week, planning in advance was key. Managers were required to set clear expectations around priorities, deadlines, and how colleagues should communicate with each other during the week.
At Designstripe, its entirely remote global team, based across four continents, undertakes a no-meeting week every six weeks. It has been found that this style of workflow has improved communication as it has forced colleagues to be more intentional in their messaging.
Similarly, at Zapier where its asynchronous workweek is referred to as a “get stuff done” week, project kickoff calls were replaced by Slack messages where project managers sent detailed messages outlining the project charter, timeline, and next steps. At the end of the week, 56% of participants had canceled between one and five hours of meetings and 26% had canceled five to 10 hours of meetings, translating to 3,000 hours saved across the company.
If you feel like you’re constantly battling your own meeting schedule to get tasks completed, it could be time to adopt a different way of working. If your current employer doesn’t facilitate asynchronous working styles, that could mean getting a new job in an organization that supports true flexibility.
The Accounting Today Job Board is the perfect place to start your search as it has hundreds of opportunities in companies that are currently hiring, like the three below.
CFO Client Consultant, RADAR Nonprofit Solutions, Wilmington
RADAR Nonprofit Solutions has an immediate need for a CFO Client Consultant to join its team. Responsibilities for this position include leading the services teams for assigned clients, acting as the primary liaison with client representatives, leading implementations for new clients, managing the overall workload of RADAR staff, providing guidance and oversight on client budgets and forecasts, and acting as the client CFO at the board and committee meetings. See more details here.
Business Solutions Banker – Business Banking, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Columbus
As a Business Solutions Banker, you will offer financial solutions, education, and advice to clients. As such you will plan and conduct regular meetings with each client to understand their needs and goals. You will also be required to analyze current product usage, pinpoint growth opportunities and engage with clients through screen share tools to educate, guide and assist the client with Chase online systems. To apply, you should have one to three years of experience in a business banking relationship management or portfolio management role along with a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. View the full job description here.
SVP, Finance Operations and Risk Coordinator, FaciliCiti, Tampa
The Finance Operations and Risk Coordinator is responsible for coordinating and leading operational risk activities for global controllers. You’ll represent global controllers in operational risk group meetings and coordinate requirements to drive standardization. You’ll also be required to develop frameworks and implement governance and oversight activities to ensure adherence to operational risk requirements. You can apply for this role here.