E-commerce giant Shopify is kicking off the new year by deleting more than 76,500 hours of meetings from employee calendars in 2023.
“We’re starting the year fresh with some helpful subtractions; freeing ourselves from an absurd amount of meeting time and unlocking an incredible amount of time,” Shopify COO Kaz Nejatian said in an internal letter sent to employees and obtained by FOX Business.
The company canceled all Wednesday meetings and any recurring meetings with three or more people, as well as all meetings with at least 50 people except Thursdays from 1[ads1]1am to 5pm to help staff get more work done.
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A Shopify spokesperson told FOX Business that this isn’t just about the number of meetings.
“It also removes larger chunks of meeting time,” the spokesperson said. “For example, someone might have three or four 30-minute meetings in the morning, but if the space between any of them is less than an hour, then each of those little gaps is almost impossible to get actual work done.”
Nejatian asks employees not to postpone any of the aforementioned meetings for at least two weeks. After that point, they are asked to “be very, very critical of what you put back.”
“No one joined Shopify to sit in meetings. Not one person ever thought, ‘you know what will have a big impact on entrepreneurship? Day after day of back-to-back meetings,'” he said. “People join Shopify to build… meetings are a mistake on that 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.
Aside from cleaning up employee calendars, the company is also adding Workplace by Meta to replace email as its asynchronous communication platform. From now on, Slack will also only be used as an instant messenger.
“As we start 2023, we have introduced changes to rethink how we can have the biggest impact on our goal of making trade better for everyone,” he added. “Uninterrupted time is an artisan’s most precious resource, and we give our people a ‘no judgment zone’ to subtract, reject meetings and focus on what’s most valuable.”
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Nejatian said most companies would take six months to implement a change like this, but Shopify is “purposefully causing an intense level of discomfort and distraction that we’re moving through very quickly so we can get on with what’s most important.”