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Do you Think Workplace Meetings Could be Replaced by Emails? You're not Alone

"Meeting fatigue is real and not just due to the quantity of meetings," said the CEO of a fintech company.
Cover Image Source: Most workers think that meetings are ineffective (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Cover Image Source: Most workers think that meetings are ineffective (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Anyone with a nine-to-five corporate job is used to daily or weekly meetings, which are meant to chalk out plans for achieving targets at work and increasing productivity. But are these frequent calls actually serving their intended purpose or just consuming too much time?

Atlassian Corporation recently surveyed 5,000 workers across five countries, the US, Australia, Germany, India, and France, and found that most workers thought that meetings were ineffective. It observed that most of these meetings were meant to disseminate information and encourage collaboration, suggesting that at least 3 out of 4 meetings can be replaced by a written memo. Atlassian also found that a small group of speakers often controls the entire conversation in a meeting, which edges out the quiet attendees who lose the chance to add something to the table.

Photo by Christina Morillo:
Meetings are overused in companies (representative image) | Photo by Christina Morillo | Pexels

The research also found that none of these meetings were moving projects forward, "No decisions were made, and nobody knows what’s expected of them," the researchers concluded. Workers also reported feeling tired because of the meetings that were scheduled throughout the day. 

"Meeting fatigue is real and not just due to the quantity of meetings. Many times it’s just a few meetings but they are sprinkled throughout the day just enough to prevent real quality work being done in the gaps," said fintech company Block CEO Jack Dorsey, via AOL.

Nearly 78% of Atlassian’s respondents say they struggle to get their work done because of how many meetings they are expected to attend each week. The survey also found that more than even the people who were at the directorial level ended up working overtime because of meetings.

As per data from, 15% of an organization's time is spent in meetings while most of the upper management spend 50% of their time in meetings. It was also seen that more than 35% of employees found that they waste 2-5 hours of power per day on meetings and calls but end up achieving nothing.


Many companies are now moving away from the conventional approach of conducting so many meetings. For example, back in 2022, the CEO of Shopify decided to ditch all the recurring meetings with two or more people. They later released data on how the company was able to save 322,000 hours and later increased delivery by 25% because of the decision. 

Reports also suggest that employees are increasingly learning ways to reject a meeting.

Another study by Harvard Business Review sheds light on the changes that companies saw after reducing meetings. Out of the 76 companies that were surveyed, 71% of employees said that their productivity had increased. They also said that being able to set their schedule allowed them to feel better about their jobs which increased their satisfaction by 52%.


It was observed that removing 60% of meetings increased cooperation by 55%. The survey also saw that workers were still communicating with management tools like Slack as well as Teams. It was also seen that micromanaging plummeted drastically after meetings declined by 80%. Employees ended up feeling valued, trusted, and more engaged. The survey found that communication was 65% clearer and more effective without meetings.