Most people would say that employees hate office meetings. “It’s one of those anecdotal things that’s hard to question,” says organizational psychologist Steven G. Rogelberg of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. But when Rogelberg and his colleagues gave 980 workers one of two questionnaires about their time spent in scheduled meetings and overall job satisfaction, the get-togethers were not uniformly panned.
Employees who are goal-oriented and whose work does not require much outside input do indeed tend to be generally dissatisfied with meetings. But individuals whose work depends on interaction with others and who have somewhat flexible, unstructured jobs are actually more satisfied the more gatherings they sit in on. “I think it’s a social norm to complain about your meetings,” Rogelberg observes.