We’ve all read stories like this Harvard Business Review piece on the impact of meetings on productivity and employee satisfaction. It’s all too relatable, and we can’t help but laugh at how much time gets spent re-dialing in or reminding someone that they’ve been on mute. You might even be reading this while in a meeting.
But the animosity employees tend to feel towards meetings isn’t coming from a place of laziness. Nope, quite the opposite. They want fewer meetings so they can actually have time to do their work – carefully, thoughtfully and uninterrupted.
In this TED talk, Jason Fried, founder & CEO of Basecamp, states “people need long stretches of uninterrupted time to get something done… You cannot ask someone to be creative in 15 minutes and really think about a problem.” And Fried puts “meetings” on the top of his list of interruptions. “Giving someone four hours of uninterrupted time is the best gift you can give anybody at work.”
Further, Harvard Business Review cites: “Schedules riddled with meetings interrupt “deep work” – a term that the Georgetown computer science professor Cal Newport uses to describe the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.”
Meetings are necessary, but overly plentiful, and it’s not something that we’re immune to here at PAN. We have heard this exact sentiment from our team, they are eager for time back in their days to do great client work. Whether that’s perusing the news to find the perfect angle and home for a client story, writing a piece of long-form content or digging into data to see what’s working and what’s not on a program.
So, PAN is rising to the challenge and introducing No Meeting Wednesday Afternoons effective immediately. From 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. PT, our team will have a five-hour uninterrupted stretch each week to focus on client work.
“As a people-first organization, we’re always looking at new ways to create the best work environment possible for our team. We know happy employees equate to happy clients. We’re very excited and proud to test something new that came out of my Breakfast w/ The President series with PAN staff members at every level which speaks to our team’s desire for more time for uninterrupted work cycles. Our hope is that our team AND our clients reap the benefits of that focused work time,” said Philip Nardone, president & CEO of PAN Communications.
We look forward to hearing your feedback on this initiative and any hot tips on how you’re approaching meetings in your organization!