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 Math

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

Xaverage annual salaryX# 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 |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

$60k | $125 | $250 | $375 | $500 | $750 |

$80k | $167 | $333 | $500 | $667 | $1,000 |

$100k | $208 | $417 | $625 | $833 | $1,250 |

$120k | $250 | $500 | $750 | $1,000 | $1,500 |

$140k | $292 | $583 | $875 | $1,167 | $1,750 |

$160k | $333 | $667 | $1,000 | $1,333 | $2,000 |

$180k | $375 | $750 | $1,125 | $1,500 | $2,250 |

$200k | $417 | $833 | $1,250 | $1,667 | $2,500 |

I am not saying meetings are pointless; many are worthwhile. This is just a framework to think from a different point of view.