If everyone hates meetings, why do we spend so much time in them (and is there an escape?)


Hate meetings? You might want to share this story with your boss or coworkers.

For CNBC.com, I set out to understand the reason for what I’m calling “meeting inflation” in today’s workplace.  It’s partly technology’s fault, partly society’s fault…you’ll see what I mean.  But get used to it:  as I say in the story, meetings are going nowhere, fast. Better try to make the best of them. That might mean walk and talk, or or stand and talk, or using new software designed to limit bloviating, or…you tell me — how do you make meetings more productive, or at least a little less painful.

Here’s the top of the piece — click over to CNBC.com to read the rest.


Few words are more menacing to today’s office worker: “Reminder: Meeting … in 15 minutes.”

It’s a pop-up message that—not unlike a computer virus pop-up—threatens to consume your next hour or perhaps the rest of your afternoon.

One-third of Americans recently told pollsters for software firm Mersive that they attend 10 or more meetings every week. Another recent poll for Clarizen, also a software firm, found 46 percent would rather get a root canal or go to the Department Motor Vehicles, or do other unpleasant tasks, rather than attend another status meeting.

Steven G. Rogelberg, a professor of organizational science at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, said he can’t talk to anyone about his research without people launching into what he calls the “meeting hell lament.”

And yet, meetings are going nowhere, fast. “If there truly was an appetite to stop these things you would see that happening. It’s not,” Rogelberg said.

Meetings seem more like a bad habit, or even an addiction, Americans can’t kick. We can’t live with them, but we just can’t cancel them, either. How did we get here?

Click to CNBC.com to read the rest of this story.

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About Bob Sullivan 1638 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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