How To Reduce Meetings In Remote Work

One key step to asynchronous communications in a distributed team is having less meetings.

  1. Avoid recurring meetings
  2. Don’t jump on meetings to share information
  3. Always start a meeting with agenda & goals
  4. Always end the meeting with action items & assignees
  5. Have a “pre-meeting triage” template
  6. Plan ahead to avoid rush meetings to handle exceptions
  7. Book calendar slots for Deep Work

Try using some of these tips. However, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Face-to-face meetings is a good way to build connection between team members, to fight feelings of loneliness and isolation. In those cases, use them liberally.

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Almanac has a nice post:

Meetings are best for collaboration, relationship building, resolving blockers, and removing ambiguity. Not for basic information sharing.

They propose a framework for deciding whether a meeting should just be an email.

They also cover an unstructured “virtual coffee shop” meeting:

We now have a meeting every other week where we dedicate an hour to just hanging out. Every two weeks, we all jump on a Zoom video call for an hour. The unstructured format aims to replicate the feeling of being huddled around a table at a coffee shop.

This “meeting” is about shooting the breeze first and then doing work is second.