37 signals about meetings again:
Meetings basically make things happen all at once. And that means you’re pulling a bunch of people off their work to have this “right now” conversation. It’s very disruptive for a bunch of people. So if they can communicate over a long period of time instead, it’s much better.
I think companies would benefit from giving employees a lot more autonomy and alone time to do their work. And then when they do need to come together, it can be more special and more meaningful. It’s like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen for a long time – it’s kind of a special moment for a couple hours and then you go break up and go back to your own lives and that’s fine. And that’s how we like to treat our work here.
For me all of that sounds reasonable except for the “old friend” comparison. You have to be “close” friends instead. A meeting’s usefulness drops dramatically with more people and details included – that’s the more correct point. You can afford to be “old friends” with colleagues when everybody works on a firm long-term plan. Which isn’t usually true.