Have you changed your default meeting times to 25 minutes and 50 minutes, instead of half an hour and an hour?

2.3k views3 Upvotes36 Comments

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
We do that using Google, which allows you to program those times as a default. It’s a good idea in theory but I find that it doesn't work in practice. There are some people who will just talk until they've finished what they need to say, without respect for other people's calendars. I'd be interested in hearing from a company that's been able to have 25-minute or 50-minute meetings where people stick to that time window. That would be a game changer for me in terms of my ability to have back-to-back meetings. There are a lot of direct messages I can get through in 10 minutes if I don't have the distraction of a meeting.
CIO in Finance (non-banking), 51 - 200 employees
At my previous company we would end five or 10 minutes early, depending on the length of the meeting. It was much easier in person because you could just fold up your laptop and leave the room. It's a little tough on a Zoom call where you're trying to click “leave now” to end it. There’s a different etiquette in a virtual meeting and you may be more cautious of seeming rude. And the other issue is that people don't see a virtual meeting as a perishable product, so if there are five minutes left people think, “No one's going to meet in these five minutes. So let's all just chat.” They're not understanding how important those five minutes are to decompress or do whatever it is that you need to do.
1 Reply
CISO in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees

And of course you have that small talk at the start of a meeting as well. You want to start out with social chit chat just to check in, because you miss that when you’re not passing people in the office every day.

VP IT (CIO role) in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
no, meetings need to have a clear agenda and deliverables. if you're done end the meeting, don't let the task extend to the time available. 
Chief Information Officer in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees
I have done that, and showed others in my organization but there has been little interest.  It seems like a solution to a problem people don’t think exists. 
Director Of Technology (ANZ) in Healthcare and Biotech, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
No, we haven't put this in place, but we're also really strict at keeping our meetings running on time. As soon as we get to time, the meeting ends. I think people often shorten the meeting times to 25 or 50 minutes, to enable some overlap and time to extend.
SVP - Software Engineering in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
We tried and encouraged it but it was practically hard to enforce 25 min and most still end up going 30 min. We do try to end meetings early whenever we can and “give time back” which everyone appreciates 
Director of Engineering-Battery Technology in Hardware, 51 - 200 employees
In our company, it's by default 25 min or 50 min. I found this very helpful and efficient. Save the rest 5 min or 10 min for restroom time or grab some snacks, really makes a difference. And what typically takes 30 min or 1 hr can be accommodated into 25 min and 50 min, respectively. 
CIO/CISO in Healthcare and Biotech, 11 - 50 employees
I rarely accept an hour long meeting unless absolutely necessary and unless the agenda is voluminous enough to warrant. I find that 95% of meetings need about 25 to 28 minutes, I start winding down and covering action items about 20 minutes in. This stance has increased my ability to hold 6-7 quality meetings a day and still have time for other priorities.
Director of Tech and Cyber Strategy in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
No. I typically will note if there are 5 minutes left in the meeting but ultimately these times are arbitrary. Unless there is an agenda most people just set a short meeting to 30 minutes and a longer one to 60.

People who are conscientious of your time will end a 30 minute meeting on time and those that will try to go over 30 will also just see 25 as 30 anyway. Unless you have travel time between meetings (which in the Zoom age is increasingly non-existent) this is really solving for the wrong problem: someone who will not stick to 30 minutes is going to know that you don’t have a 35-minute meeting right after so the problem is not the timeslot it’s getting people to respect the time they have been allotted.

Rather I just try to avoid meetings that don’t have an agenda or an actual outcome. Because the cost of setting up a meeting is just selecting time in a calendar most meetings are just filler that never needed to take place anyway.
CTO in Healthcare and Biotech, 2 - 10 employees
No, why would I do that? 
1 Reply
CTO in Healthcare and Biotech, 2 - 10 employees

I suppose I see the idea, like others, we just end when we're done. If it's 5 minutes before the scheduled end then everyone leaves anyways.

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