Will "meeting-free" days help telecommuters be away from the office
without missing important meetings?
I have not heard of companies adopting this policy for the entire
organization, though it may well have happened. What is more likely is
that a division or department within an organization might do this; it's
not likely to be company-wide unless it's a small company.
From what I have read, a number of companies adopt meeting-free days (or
some variation) whether or not they have telecommuters. Most companies
have become so meeting-crazy that they sometimes declare these meeting-free
days just to have at least one day a week that people can have for their
I have also seen many more companies - with telecommuting - make excellent
use of audio conferencing or Web-based conferencing (or variations of them)
to include telecommuters in a meeting while they are remote. You can find
information about these tools in the Collaboration Software/Tools page
on this site.
Also, I am reading now and then about individual managers, or departments,
that do things to cut down the length of meetings - beyond the obvious (but
often ignored) basics of setting up an agenda, etc. For example, they are
taking chairs out of conference rooms, or having all meetings standing up,
or assessing fines (generally donated to charity) on people who make
comments that are off-topic, etc.
In my view, the underlying problem is the explosion in the number of
meetings which is compounded by bad meeting-running practices. Lots of
meetings could easily be shortened if not eliminated.
One other source you might want to check is the "Meeting Network" at the 3M
site . Even though they sell overhead
projection equipment, etc. their site actually has a lot of good, generic