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Laws of Meetings

Meetings are $$$$$$. They’re literally one of the most expensive things you can do at a company. They are great when they work and terrible when they don’t. Our meeting rules are an attempt to ensure that we all do our part to ensure that meetings at Variance are valuable and additive.

The rules below are meant to be read top-to-bottom. If you answer no to anything, a meeting most likely doesn’t make sense.

  1. Do you really need a meeting? If not, don't schedule one and just talk to the person directly
  2. Have a purpose, state it: If you can’t clearly state the purpose of your meeting in the invite, then should you really be having a meeting?
  3. Ensure the right people are there and no more. As the meeting host, it’s your responsibility to invite the right folks. As an attendee, it’s your responsibility not to go to a meeting if you don’t need to be there.
  4. Default to video. We aren't in the same room but we can do as much as possible to make it feel like we are.
  5. Use the right tool for the job. Avoid presentations wherever possible. Write it out and start meetings with reading when it makes sense. Whiteboard to think through problems.
  6. Be prompt: This is both basic courtesy and goes back to the huge cost of meetings, particularly ones where people sit around waiting.
  7. Stay single-threaded. We are a remote company, so we can’t fully ban computers from meetings, but the whole point of being together is to focus on the task at hand. That means no checking your email, sending texts, or doing the nine things on your to-do list. If you see people doing other stuff call them out.
Last Updated: 
July 27, 2021