Is it time to introduce meeting-free days?

Keeping a day free of meetings can help boost productivity and empower your employees

by Éilis Cronin

It starts with an email notification asking the question you dread the most: “Have you got time for a quick meeting?” As you fight to stop your eyes from rolling and hold back a sigh, you schlep your way over to a stuffy meeting room soon to be full of toxic air.

No, literally. A 2016 Harvard study found that CO2 levels in a crowded meeting room can reduce higher-level cognitive function by 50%. A 2019 study also warned that long-term exposure to elevated CO2 levels could carry significant health risks.

Not only that, but other studies show that boardroom meetings are often a huge waste of time. Research from work management platform Asana found that in 2021, an estimated 134 hours were spent in avoidable meetings and calls. Another 107 hours were spent redoing work last year.

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