Many meetings could be replaced by one or more emails. Many are clear about this, and are aware that endless meetings, in many cases, take time away from employees to do effective work. Therefore, in Shopify they have decided to end the vast majority of them. To do this, since this month of January, the Canadian company has communicated to its employees that it is going to carry out what it has described, according to Bloomberg, as a “calendar purge”. that’s why he’s going to delete all recurring meetings of more than two people forever.
It is not the only measure that it is going to take, since, among other things, it has also prohibited meetings of any kind from being held on Wednesdays. Meetings of more than 50 people that cannot be deleted and are truly relevant will have to be held within a six-hour time window on Thursdays, and only one such meeting can be held per week. In addition, Shopify managers have encouraged their employees in a message to reject other meetings, and to leave internal work groups in which there are many people.
According to Tobi Lutke, CEO of Shopify«the best founders can do is subtract. It is much easier to add things than to remove them. If you say yes to something, you are saying no to anything else you could have done in that period of time. As people add things, the set of things that can be done gets smaller. So you end up with more and more people who are just maintaining the status quo.«.
According to the company, there will be a bot that is in charge of reinforcing this new policy that they have decided to adopt. Among other things, its mission will be to remind meeting organizers of the new rules starting this coming day 5. Kaz Nejatina, Vice President of Product and COO of Shopifyhas sent a message by email in response to various questions that have arisen in this regard, in which he states that «Over the years, we’ve seen too many meetings creep into our day-to-day lives. We don’t know of anyone who logged into Shopify to participate in meetups.«.
The meetings purge is the latest experiment that Shopify is doing with their template. In May 2020, shortly after the start of the pandemic, the company went “digital by design,” allowing all of its employees to work from anywhere indefinitely.
Last year, amid huge industry volatility that had a notable negative impact on tech stocks, Shopify changed its workers’ compensation practices to let workers choose how much of their salary they wanted in cash and how much in stock. instead of letting company management decide the combination.
These changes come after an increase in spending cuts at the company, which allows sellers to create websites to sell their products online, allowing them to have inventory management and payment processing, as well as various tools for in-store purchases. .
It was among the most attractive stocks in Canada in the pandemic, when online shopping soared. It even became the country’s highest-valued company, but its shares plummeted last year, losing 75% of their value. As a result, Shopify laid off about 1,000 employees of its 10,000-strong workforce last summer, and Lutke was left with no choice but to admit that he had overestimated the impact of the pandemic on e-commerce.
Adopting no-meeting policies can boost productivity as well as reduce stress among workers, according to some research. Of course, the company is not going to eliminate them completely, as we have seen. Only the important ones will be held, and there will also be a waiting period to be able to reorganize a canceled meeting: two weeks. This is the minimum amount of time that will elapse in Shopify from when a meeting is suspended until it can be called again.
In addition, the company has decided that Slack will only be used for internal IM from now on. Large chat groups, which are very difficult to manage, will only be used for making announcements.
Long and unproductive meetings have become a scourge for hybrid work and remote work, which has led more than a few companies to take measures to limit it. In Meta or Twilio, for example, it has already been decided that there are certain days when meetings cannot be held. Employees spend many hours in them, and according to some studies, only less than 15% of them refuse to participate in them. Of course, more than 30% would prefer to do so. And begrudgingly going to a non-critical meeting also makes big companies lose $100 million a year or so.