I think about this a lot because I work in a remote team, and we have a lot of meetings. This, I think is an important thing to consider.
Ultimately, a high-documentation, low-meeting approach to work lays the groundwork for a builder culture.
Having the time and space to get into a flow state is foundational to being a builder. It’s hard to program, design, or write in short bursts. A lot of people can’t do cognitively-intense tasks without a clear 3 hour or so block of time to do heads-down work.
The reason so many people struggle to do thoughtful work amidst interruptions boils down to context-switching.
This is where having a lot of meetings becomes a problem. When you need to do focused work, you wind up doing it after hours. That’s not sustainable. The other thing that this constant multitasking does is it feeds on itself. Picture this, if you will.
You schedule a meeting to discuss the project status. Half of the people at that meeting are squeezing it in between other meetings and thus are multi-tasking during the status meeting. You can watch them on camera answering emails while the discussion is going on, or they are wily enough to do it off-camera but aren’t engaged.
After the meeting, someone sends an email summarizing the conversation, which is responded to by one of the people who were multi-tasking with questions they didn’t ask during the meeting. This prompts another meeting to go over those questions.
Might it work better if the project status was done in writing, asynchronously, and the meeting never needed to happen?
How many “check-ins” could we eliminate if there were documents that anyone could look at to determine how the project is going? What benefit would there be if there were easy-to-find documents describing how a project went for the next person to see? How could you use the meetings you do have differently? To build better remote relationships instead of constantly getting project updates?
It’s worth considering. Read more about how they do it and the benefits they get from it:
Follow these topics: Career