Are meeting-free days a good idea?
Published on 03/3/2022
According to the analysis of Vijay Pereira, Professor at NEOMA and his co-authors in The Surprising Impact of Meeting-Free Days, published in MIT Sloan Management Review, introducing meeting-free days in organisations leads to less stress and more autonomy and cooperation.
“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.” This is what came out from a study conducted by Ben Laker (University of Reading, UK), Vijay Pereira (NEOMA Business School, France), Pawan Budhwar (Aston University, UK), and Ashish Malik (University of Newcastle, Australia).
Repeated meetings are often decried in companies as being time-consuming, too numerous and rarely effective. The pandemic did not improve the situation with even more meetings in an attempt to compensate for the distance created by remote work.
To evaluate the impact of implementing no-meeting days, the researchers carried out a survey within 76 companies of more than 1,000 employees each, around the world. They also interviewed managers and HR directors. They gathered and analysed data to assess the effects of no-meeting days, on both employees and companies’ well-being.
The conclusion is clear: spending more and more time in meetings really affects people, and thus, companies. “As a result, many organizations, including Facebook and Atlassian, are taking a stand by adopting no-meeting days, during which people operate at their own rhythms and collaborate with others at a pace and on a schedule that is convenient, not forced.”