too many meetings

Why you should avoid holding too many meetings

Too many meetings have become one of the silent evils to the corporate well-being and efficient productivity of thousands of workers across the work ecosystem. 

When we assess well-being and worry about threats to productivity, we often look at more visible factors, such as toxic leadership, inadequate workloads, or over-worked schedules, which directly impact workers’ psychological well-being and undermine their performance. 

However, other factors can also have the same effect but are more discreet or silent. These include poorly planned meetings or, for example, too many meetings.

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too many meetings

What are excessive meetings?

It isn’t good for efficient work never to hold meetings as it is to hold too many meetings. In the second case, multiplying meetings around the table or, perhaps even worse, videoconferencing from where everyone is struggling to carry out their remote work to incomprehensibility. However, this issue does not affect all members of the company equally. Employees who have had the opportunity to work in different companies and are familiar with different methodologies and leadership styles know one thing well. 

Many workers have one (or no) meeting a week to discuss the coming days with their team, continuously evaluate the progress of ongoing projects, and receive instructions from their managers. They last as long as they have to, including the content they need to have, and are held as often and as frequently as is strictly necessary. This is not usually too much of a problem or an excessive or unnecessary workload, as long as the meetings are properly organized. 

The problem of holding too many meetings

However, it is expected that the more senior a position is, the more meetings they have to participate in, and not always in a justified manner. Therefore, work meetings multiply and take place every day, or even several times during the day: meetings, video calls, work sessions, workshops, held as a tool to coordinate with different departments, partners, customers, and other stakeholders and to plan, develop and monitor the many projects in which large companies are often involved. 

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This implies the ratio between the so-called “effective work” (in the sense of productive and tangible) and the time spent thinking, talking, learning, sharing, informing, etc. These should normally be heavily weighted in favor of the former, it can be balanced until, in some cases, it is inverted: the person spends more time in meetings than producing. 

Many workers speak directly of spending “more time meeting than working”, and this way of describing it indicates the problem. If meetings are not considered work, the abundance is instead an excess of meetings: they are poorly planned, unnecessary, and are, instead, boycotting productivity and probably the emotional well-being of the person who has to participate in them. 

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Consequences of too many meetings on psychological well-being

1. Boredom

No job is perfect, nor is it always exciting or fast-paced so that it motivates us and engages our full attention and interest. So far, so good. The problem arises when poorly organized work generates too many meetings that become tedious and far from being productive. Therefore, it is difficult for us to get mentally and emotionally involved. In that case, they disengage us, and we have to put more effort into staying awake than making valuable participation. 

2. Anger

Of course, there will be people who will not mind working one way or the other. However, it is different when we value our time, have many tasks, and do not have sufficient resources – especially time – to carry them out successfully. In such cases, it is incredibly annoying to feel that our time is being wasted with calls and meetings that go on longer than necessary. So, they are not efficient meetings but poorly planned meetings, or an excess of meetings based on completely unnecessary meetings. 

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3. Demotivation

Holding too many meetings is closely intertwined with boredom, and both emotional experiences can lead to a real boreout experience in the employee when they become very intense and frequent. This is happening on a large scale in what is known as the Great Resignation that has been occurring for some time now in the USA. Companies must pay attention to prevent this phenomenon within their corporate wellness programs, as they can undoubtedly be at the root of the decision to leave a company.

4. Anxiety

Beyond the fact that too many meetings bore us, make us angry and demotivate us, the truth is that it does not free us from having to meet our objectives and having to report on our performance. That is why many people, in addition to the reactions mentioned above, frequently experience great concern about the burden that too many meetings will have on their efficiency. They worry about how much time they will lose, how much they will delay the completion of tasks, and how much they will be hindered in the longed-for fluidity of their work.

too many meetings

Emotional well-being program for companies

At ifeel, we understand that there has to be a balance between our well-being inside and outside the workplace. Our team of psychologists specializing in well-being at work has created an emotional well-being program for companies. The objective? To help companies take care of the people who make their mission possible every day. 

With our emotional well-being program, your company’s HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on improving the psychological well-being of their teams. In addition, this program offers employees a 360º mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs. Try our program now to see how it could help you.

Check out our Resources section, which includes podcasts, guidebooks for HR, or interviews with leading HR professionals. In addition, we have a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template which you can use to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspection.

If you found this post about holding too many meetings interesting and would like more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it. We will contact your team as soon as possible.

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