Why Do We Hate Meetings?

by Jennifer Miller on August 1, 2012

in Workplace Issues

Over at the HR Schoolhouse blog fellow HR Blogger Network pal Robin Schooling is talking about why we hate meetings so much. (Bonus points to Robin for using the word “kvetch“.) She says that not all meetings are bad; some meetings, if done right can improve employee engagement. I agree.

But still, a lot of meetings really are a snooze-fest.

So why do we hate meetings?  Let us count the ways. (C’mon, you know you wanna kvetch a little bit.)

In the comments section, fill in your answer(s) to the statement – At work, people hate meetings because _____________.

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Art Petty August 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Hi Jennifer,

You keep hitting on my hot buttons. With apologies for always throwing links at you (I write a lot as well!), here’s a post that got me in some hot water with a few people: 4 Reasons to Kill Your Weekly Status Meetings! http://artpetty.com/2012/03/12/leadership-caffeine-4-big-reasons-to-kill-your-weekly-status-meeting/

And now for my assignment: At work, people hate meetings because…the many are subjected to the issues that should be handled outside of a meeting by the few. (Do I have to pick 1? I could keep going here.)

Thanks as always for your thought-provoking posts.

Jennifer Miller August 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Art,

a) You have a standing invitation to share your content on this blog because your writing is so fabulous. Share the knowledge!

b) No, don’t stop at one reason; I know there are many out there.

Kelly August 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Hi Jennifer,

I too hate office meetings….hence the blog post I wrote last week: http://www.jostle.me/blog/is-this-the-end-of-office-meetings/

I am hoping that the increase in collaboration technology will hopefully lead to less meetings:)

Kelly

GaryH August 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Jennifer- Good to find you, I will definitely follow.
Answer to your question: Mainly because, I think, people observe over time that, on average, when it comes to meetings, (frustration + boredom) > (fun + productivity). Part of the problem is that meetings are advertised as consensus building forums, when in fact participants feel that the longer the meeting, the less control they have in the outcome.
I’d love to get feedback from you and your readers to a gamification device I developed called Enduroo, which co-workers can play during conference calls and online meetings. The object of the game is to predict the precise duration of a meeting before it starts (in hours/minutes/seconds), and try to get the meeting discussion to end exactly when you predict. It just went live in July at Enduroo.com. Let me know what you think? Thanks very much!

Jennifer Miller August 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Gary,

You raise a valid point – there is often a disconnect between what meeting participants believe the meeting’s objective is and what the meeting leader’s objectives are.

Jennifer Miller August 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Kelly,

Or, maybe it’s not “less” meetings we need, but rather “more productive” meetings. Meetings in and of themselves are just a tool. They *can* be very productive, so it’s not meetings that are the problem, it’s the ineffective use of meetings.

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