E-commerce giant cancels 76,500 hours of meetings in new year
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E-commerce giant Shopify is starting the new year by deleting more than 76,500 hours of appointments from employee calendars in 2023.
“We’re starting the year fresh with some helpful discounts; freeing up an absurd amount of meeting time and unlocking an incredible amount of creator time,” Shopify COO Kaz Nejatian said in an internal letter sent employees and received from FOX Business.
The company suspended all Wednesday meetings and any repeat meetings of three or more people, as well as any meetings of at least 50 people outside of Thursdays between 11am and 5pm, in order to assist staff to do more work.
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A Shopify spokesperson told FOX Business that it’s not just about the number of appointments.
“It’s also clearing up larger chunks of the meeting’s free time,” the spokesman said. “For example, someone might have three or four 30-minute meetings in one morning, but if the space between them is less than an hour, then each of those small gaps is almost impossible to get the actual work done.”
The corporate logo of e-commerce company Shopify hangs on the building that houses the offices of Shopify Commerce Germany GmbH on August 8, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images/Getty Images)
Nejatian asks employees not to add any of the aforementioned appointments for at least two weeks. After that point, they are instructed to “be really, really critical of what you’re adding.”
“No one joined Shopify to sit in meetings. Not one person ever thought, ‘you know what’s going to have a big impact on the business? Day after day of back-to-back meetings,'” he said. “People join Shopify to build… meetings are a mistake on this journey.”
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The move is part of what Nejatian calls a chaotic effort to change how and where the company focuses its time and attention, as well as how it communicates.
Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke on Center Stage during day two of Collision 2019 at the Enercare Center in Toronto, Canada. (David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images / Getty Images)
In addition to cleaning up employee calendars, the company is also adding Workplace by Meta to replace email as its asynchronous communication platform. Going forward, Slack will also only be used as an instant messenger.
“As we begin 2023, we’ve introduced changes to reimagine how we can have the biggest impact on our mission to make commerce better for everyone,” he added. “Uninterrupted time is a master’s most precious resource, and we’re giving our people a ‘judgment-free zone’ to come down, reject meetings, and focus on what’s most valuable.”
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Nejatian said that most companies would need six months to implement a change like this, but Shopify is intentionally “causing a strong degree of discomfort and distraction that we get through very quickly so we can get on with it.” which is more important”.