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Fewer meetings, more results

September 12, 2022

A recent study published by MIT Sloan surveyed 76 companies with operations in more than 50 countries that had introduced one to five meeting-free days per week (even banning individual meetings) in the previous 12 months. 

Almost half (47%) of the companies reduced meetings by 40% by introducing two days without meetings per week. The rest tried something even more ambitious: 35% instituted three days without meetings and 11% implemented four. The remaining 7% have eradicated meetings altogether.

With the free slots in their schedules, employees reported more autonomy and less stress. Taking one day off from meetings a week reduced stress by 26%, and having no calls on any of the five days reduced it by 75%. The best results were achieved in companies that had three days without meetings in the week.

The outcome, according to the authors, was the subsequent profound impact of introducing days without meetings. When one no-meeting day per week was introduced, autonomy, communication, engagement, and satisfaction all improved, resulting in decreased micromanagement and stress, which caused productivity to rise.

“Ensure that every meeting has a clear agenda and expected outcome. Meetings that lack these two elements probably weren’t thoroughly thought through and, as the saying goes, could probably have just been an email”, they said.

Source: MIT Sloan | Forbes