I’m 21 years old. I don’t have tons of experience in an office setting, but I have worked on a lot of projects over the last four years. Over and over, I find myself agreeing with Tim Ferriss: meetings suck.
Meetings are way less productive than if each individual had spent that time working on their own. I’ve avoided meetings as much as possible throughout college. It’s much easier to work with multiple people on a project through Google documents. Still, a lot of people feel more comfortable in meetings because you’re getting some face time and talking with co-workers. While it’s ok to talk business during lunch hour, I genuinely feel it’s unnecessary to have meetings during the work day. You get very little accomplished relative to the amount of time you actually spend in the meeting.
Email can become a very unproductive way of communicating for group projects. Emailing drafts of things back and forth to one another is brutal, especially when you do it more than a few times. It becomes an instant messaging program, which it obviously shouldn’t. The telephone is still the best channel for asking questions and communicating with team members. It’s faster and, more importantly, you get to hear the person’s voice. There have been many instances in my life where something was lost in translation because of the limitations on email and text messaging.
It’s unfortunate that more companies don’t implement Skype and Google documents into their work tactics. Those two programs are a lot more effective than in-person meetings and email.
*Picture courtesy of Seth Godin’s blog