The End of the Back-to-Back Day?

by | 26 October 2021 | Communication, Leadership, Team Building

We all know that sinking feeling when we’ve started the day off positively, only to open our diaries and see a flurry of colour blocks demanding every second of our day to be spent in front of our computers on calls.

We see this frustration often at MSB during our programmes of 1:1 coaching sessions in the corporate world. There is rarely a person that doesn’t need some support to reclaim their diaries. We share tips and techniques on ringfencing time for yourself, prioritising what is really important and how to say no to requests that are urgent for others but not for you.

Many organisations are trying their own methods of changing the ‘tyranny of meetings’ culture. These include meetings ending at 25 or 55 past the hour or starting at 10 past the hour to ensure people get breaks. Companies such as Facebook, Asana and Shopify have company-wide ‘no meetings allowed’ days.

BUT could a new type of communications technology drastically change how we conduct meetings?

We like to keep our finger on the pulse at MSB. We’ve noticed a new app on the horizon called Katch which is a heavily backed start-up with high expectations to ‘blow up’ the way we use calendars currently for meetings.

The way it works is that instead of booking a meeting slot in people’s diaries, you send them a ‘card’ in the Katch app with the topic of conversation. Both parties can assign a priority rating for the conversation, and you are only contactable when you switch your status to available.

So instead of having a full day of meetings that may or may not be relevant to your top priority items, the idea is that you bash out shorter, more productive and timely conversations in moments that work for you. Plus when you are ‘unavailable’, you have time to focus on your own strategic work. It’s a concept designed to put you back in charge of your day in a more effective way.

Could it really work?

In theory it’s a concept that could instigate a complete mindset shift regarding how people interact at work, and it therefore has the power to change behaviours. History reveals time and again how sceptics were proved wrong over how an app or piece of technology changes behaviours and even society – Uber, Deliveroo, Whatsapp. So who knows what this little app could do?

We do have some questions:  what’s to stop this new piece of tech getting clogged with requests and becoming yet another channel we need to monitor alongside calendars, emails, Whatsapp, Slack, Instant Messenger, Teams etc? Won’t a friend or colleague  be offended or annoyed if you deprioritise their conversation request? If someone senior sends a conversation card, how easy would it be to refuse?

But ever the hopeful optimists here at MSB Executive, we’d love to see this app take off and put people back in control of their own time – making them happier and more productive.

What do you think?


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