One tech company is escalating its war on meetings by introducing a calculator that shows employees how much it really costs to force dozens of their colleagues to huddle together for an hour instead of just sending an email.
Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company, rolled out its Meeting Cost Calculator internally Wednesday as part of ongoing efforts to encourage emptier calendars. The tool functions as a Chrome extension built into Google Calendar, showing Shopify’s 11,000-plus global employees the estimated cost of their meetings by using data based on average compensation, number of attendees and length.
The average 30-minute meeting with three employees at the company costs between $700-$1600, according to an internal note shared with CNN Wednesday. By getting rid of even three meetings a week per person, Shopify estimates it will see a 15% reduction in overall costs.
Shopify first took steps to reduce unnecessary meetings in January by doing away with all previously scheduled recurring meetings involving three or more people. It also enforced meeting-free Wednesdays and limited large meetings with over 50 people to a six-hour window on Thursdays.
But the company says its initial effort wasn’t enough.
“[W]e have seen meeting creep seep back in and we needed to take immediate action,” the company wrote in the internal note this week. “Time is money, and it should be spent on helping our merchants succeed or having fun - meetings frequently do neither.”
While the tool puts the cost of meetings into monetary terms, the company stresses that it is ultimately less focused on the dollar value and more on the wider need to reconsider how time is spent.
“The Meeting Cost Calculator is here to challenge the status quo, nudging us to reconsider meeting necessity and explore more creative collaboration methods,” the company wrote.