Today I had a couple of meetings where the purpose was to transfer knowledge to a large group of people. These were hour-long sessions filled with presentations to update everyone on various initiatives.
These meetings are probably the most efficient way to transfer all this information. People aren’t going to read a long email - and that takes a long time to prepare. I don’t have anything against them, but if I had to critique them, I would suggest adding in more storytelling. There’s too much content to remember without devices to make it easier.
Today I am thinking about the cost of meetings. They can be very expensive when you do the math! I made a quick formula to serve as a mental model. Here are the assumptions:
- Assume an eight-hour workday actually only has 6 productive hours. Assume a meeting counts towards productive time.
- With holidays and vacation, assume 4 weeks off per person. Therefore, each person works 48 weeks each year.
- Outside of time off, assume a normal workweek of 5 days per week
- Assume a multiplier of 1.5 times the salary to represent the true cost of a full-time employee
The assumptions yield 1,440 productive working hours in a year. Using the 1.5 cost constant, that gives a formula:
Meeting cost = 1.5 / 1440 X average annual salary X # of people
Since salary can vary widely by industry, company, and location, I left it as a variable. This table breaks down the cost of a one-hour meeting based on average salary and number of attendees.
|Salary vs. People||2||4||6||8||12|
I am not saying meetings are pointless; many are worthwhile. This is just a framework to think from a different point of view.