The Cost of Meetings

A couple of weeks ago Shopify made a bit of a splash by announcing that they were encouraging employees to consider the cost of meetings by internally releasing a tool to make the cost of meetings more apparent. In screenshots of the tool, it appears to be embedded in Google Calendar itself, making it very easy to see the cost of a particular meeting. This is a solid move that makes the hidden cost of meetings much more obvious.

Shopify Meeting Cost Plugin

I imagine that this is intended to nudge for all meeting participants to count the cost. The aim here is cost-effectiveness. Meetings are meant to be useful. Meetings are intended to create value. The value that meetings create should exceed the cost. In most situations, this value approximation is fuzzy and hard to account for, so we don’t think about the cost. But if we never measure the cost of a meeting, then it’s easy to forget that there is any cost at all associated with that time. Unmeasured cost is hidden cost. Shopify is now putting the cost in a highly visible place for those booking or attending the meeting.

As a manager, though, it leaves me wanting more. What I want to know is which meetings at my company are the most expensive? This allows management to critically evaluate all meetings across an organization for cost-effectiveness. Further, recurring meetings should require an even higher level of scrutiny as recurring meetings can often slowly lose their value over time.

This is one of the pains that Calendaristic is intended to alleviate: make those hidden costs visible! Our “Expensive Meetings” dashboard on a weekly report indicates which meetings are the most expensive (based on the average employee salary in your organization). It also visually highlights which ones of those are recurring meetings.

Expensive Meetings

For trending purposes, we also prominently feature the total meeting cost on our weekly dashboard. This allows you to trend the cost of meetings over time for your entire organization. Is your average weekly meeting burden (and corresponding cost) trending up or down over time as your organization grows?

Weekly Dashboard

We’re also working on a monitoring feature that will allow flexible alerting on customized policies. For example, if you want to get alerted when someone sets up a recurring meeting that costs more than $1500, or includes more than 15 people for 90 minutes, you will be able to do that.

If you’d like access to Calendaristic, you can sign upaccount here.

Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash