This Could Have Been an Email

Meetings suck. They've always sucked. Generally they go longer than they need, key people can't attend, and they can easily become unproductive which is the exact opposite of a meeting's purpose. If you're an employee of Shopify, your calendar is about to get a lot more open. Because in 2023, Shopify is telling everyone to scrap nearly all their meetings. Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg has more.

As employees return from holiday break, the Canadian e-commerce firm said it’s conducting a “calendar purge,” removing all recurring meetings with more than two people “in perpetuity,” while reupping a rule that no meetings at all can be held on Wednesdays. Big meetings of more than 50 people will get shoehorned into a six-hour window on Thursdays, with a limit of one a week. The company’s leaders will also encourage workers to decline other meetings, and remove themselves from large internal chat groups.


Talk about refreshing! As someone who's been on multiple-hours-long calls 2-3 days per week, I know from personal experience how draining endless meetings can be. Many times you're half-paying attention and generally, you're doing no work because you're busy in a meeting.

Shopify's approach to this is really nice to me. One day is earmarked for meetings and people can work around that. It also most-definitely gets people to do better about scheduling only necessary meetings instead of sending them out willy-nilly. Many companies have a heavy meeting culture and that's hard to rein that back in.

I once worked with someone who said "any meeting more than 15 minutes is unproductive." LifeHacker backs this up based on this 2014 article. My experience has backed this up. It also keeps things moving so you don't feel your soul slowly draining from your body as the minutes pass.

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