At Happy Office we regularly think about what truly makes us happy and what we personally need for more happiness at work. We talk about our happiness ponderings and look for the things that withhold us from working the way we want to work. We also see the common obstacles around us that prevent happiness at work during our keynotes or workshops leaving employees frustrated.
And so we often speak with groaning and moping people whose days are filled up with work meetings. At the end of the day, they often feel drained and exhausted and admit that they had little time to really get some work done. Their to-do-lists keep growing and the corners of their mouths seem to permanently point downwards. A happy whistle on the way home on their bikes is out of the question. Such a shame we think!
We completely understand that work meetings are necessary and that we need to meet face to face to determine strategies and make certain things work. But all these meetings shouldn’t come at the expense of happiness at work. A day full of meetings is therefore not the best idea. See if you can spread meetings over the week and ask yourself: “are you really needed for this meeting?” Check if your expertise or approval is really needed or if someone else can do the job better. You can always ask for the meeting notes or minutes if you want to stay involved!
From Meat-Free Monday to Meeting-Free Friday
At Happy Office we wanted to take this one step further. We commit to an actual meeting-free workday. An entire workday without meetings and without every having to leave our work desk (besides for going for a walk or getting coffee and tea of course). In our case this means that we can spend the day at our kitchen table. No physical meetings but also no work calls, which often replaces a physical meeting.
This month we have nominated Friday to be our meeting-free workday. We plan all our meetings and calls during the remaining four days and use Friday to really get some work done. We have time and focus to finish off our to-do lists, safe time on traveling and we experience more freedom to create new things and to let our creativity flow.
In short, we can go to after-work-drinks earlier, we are able to listen to our kids with full attention and connection when they come home after school and we don’t even need to switch our comfy to work pants.
Our conclusion so far? We love it!
Some Fridays are more difficult than others to truly keep our agenda’s meeting and appointment-free, but we see so many benefits! We finally have time to really brainstorm about things and find the creativity to solve more problems than ever. We can organise this day completely to our liking which means that we work more productive and efficiently. Plus the thought of a meeting-free workday has an immediate positive effect on our energy levels. 🙂
Are you in?
We call on all Dutch working citizens to start experimenting with a meeting-free workday. Track your energy level, measure your productivity and see how your to-do list and unanswered e-mails finally reduce. Did I mention that it’s also good for the environment if we all don’t go out for a day?