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Work Culture in USA – Why do people schedule so many meetings?

One of things that I noticed after working here in US in IT world is that people tend to schedule so many meetings. I will share few thoughts about meetings in this article. You may check out the previous article about Work Culture in USA – Working hours, lunch time and meetings

Why so many meetings?

Meetings are integral part of corporate culture in America.  People are so thorough about everything. They want everything to be discussed and laid out on paper. There is way too much planning about a project than the required work. I agree it is important for critical projects…but not for all the projects…Sometimes I felt, is the meeting really worth the time?  Coming back to the point, for instance, if we take  a web developer role in a project, though he is not needed to attended all these listed meetings, there are potential chance for him to attend all or most of the below list

  • Meeting with the Business clients
  • Meeting with the Project manager and Project team
  • Meeting with the Testing team
  • Meeting with the Functional Analysts
  • Meeting with Infrastructure team
  • Meeting with Off-shore development team
  • Meeting with Support team
  • Meeting with Development team
  • Meeting with Database team
  • Meeting with Server team
  • Meeting with Network team
  • Meeting with remote team members

I can keep on writing the list…It is similar for any business area related job too. The point is, there are way too many meetings and people get invited to all the meetings. Unless you are listed as required or you feel the need, you should not attend everything. It will be waste of your time.

Anyways, one of the reason there are so many meetings at work in US are because people in US are much more planned. They like to see every detail and document everything. It is overkill at times. Also, second thing, meetings are kind of a socializing thing too, people  sometimes talk about unrelated information  just to kill time…You can avoid some of these meetings by calling in or just declining if there is no need.  Meetings are a formal way or process to indicate that you really discussed something and accomplished something important. Do not be frustrated by people who love to schedule meetings for even simple things, just decline by politely saying, “ I do not think I will add any value by attending the meeting” or just call in and you can do your work simultaneously.  Sometimes meetings can be overkill, you have to cautious and use your time effectively.

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  1. This is absolutely true from this article: “… want everything to be discussed and laid out on paper. There is way too much planning about a project than the required WORK.”

    It’s got to a point where I would say it’s become 90% planning and 10% work and those who are actually working are being pressured and pushed to perform to make up for that 80% of work that should have been done in the first place. Why is this happening? Because too many managers are in office positions and not enough skilled people are actually being hired. We do not need a manager in charge of every little thing that gets done and then micro-managers under them who approve and disapprove everything that gets pushed through. This is the reason why most innovation is dead today.

  2. Your point of view is very interesting. In one way I agree. There are many meetings scheduled just ‘to check it off the list’. I am not in the IT field, but social work. We had the same issue in social work. We had many, many meetings. It seems some meetings help ‘the big wigs’ ‘fluff their feathers’ and people talk ‘a lot of hot air’…..so for the line staff it can be frustrating. Quite frankly some of the bosses find it irritating too, especially when you notice they don’t come prepared and they babble stuff! It happens everywhere. 🙂
    What about in India.. not so many meetings?

    • Well, in IT organizations either India or US, it is the same as industry standard….so, you may see the same number….But, in general, I would consider less number of meetings in India than in US….

      • i believe the fundamental difference in the work culture in India vs US is due to the type of pedagogy that professionals get in their schools.

        Organization culture also plays a pivotal role in shaping the work ethics.


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