Shopify clearing their calendars

Shopify is axing all meetings involving more than two people in a remote work twist that the company itself calls ‘fast and chaotic’
The e-commerce giant wants to eliminate unnecessary meetings to give workers more time for other tasks.

Tristan Bove, reporting for Fortune:

Shopify will be eliminating all recurring meetings involving more than two people in a bid to give employees more time to work on other tasks, Kaz Nejatian, vice president of product and chief operating officer at Shopify told employees in a Tuesday email viewed by Fortune.

I tend to start every calendar year by declaring email/slack bankruptcy, but this is a pretty extreme version. Clearing the calendars of an entire company is certainly a new one to me, but I can’t say that I disagree with it as an idea. It forces you to be a bit more deliberate about scheduling a meeting rather than relying on the inertia of a meeting just…being there.

Slack was fairly good at async collaboration, and my days didn’t involve too many meetings, but there was always some. Intercom definitely leans on meetings for collaboration more than I’m used to, but I’ve been trying to slowly carve meetings out of my calendar that would be better suited to async collaboration, for example moving from a daily synchronous standup to a mix of meetings and prompts in a slack channel.

In my experience, it’s not so much the number of meetings that’s the problem, it’s the “swiss cheese” effect of having a bunch of small meetings that are spread throughout your week. I definitely agree with a company wide no-meeting day, and compressing larger meetings into a designated time slot as Shopify are doing here. These kinds of seismic changes in the working culture of a company are only possible when they’re an organisation wide mandate as opposed to small experiments by individual teams.

What I’m really curious to see is how this experiment plays out over a longer time frame. If we look at the calendar of a typical employee at Shopify in 6 months time, will it be filled with meetings again? Or will they have found a new way to collaborate? Only time will tell.