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Here’s what happened when this company banned meetings

Most of us consider meetings a necessary evil of getting work done. While some are clearly a waste of time, others can provide opportunities for teams to collaborate and make decisions. But what would happen if you banned them altogether?

That’s what the online media company TheSoul Publishing did when it adopted a “no meetings” policy across their global company. The reason? Eighty percent of the company’s 2,100-member global workforce work remotely, and live, in-person meetings were not an effective form of communication.

“I like to compare meetings to large conferences,” says COO Arthur Mamedov. “Speaking in front of a group of people easily becomes an inefficient information exchange. Some people might get distracted in the moment. For others, the information may not be relevant. And during Q&A sessions, the speaker may forget important details. Meetings can easily become a passive activity that waste participants’ time.”

This is especially true when people are spread across time zones. “You cannot expect to get connected with people in a seamless manner,” says Mamedov. “It is always out of business hours for a group of participants.”

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