Could it have been an email?

For all the ways the post-pandemic world of work has changed, some things remain the same.

11 December 2023

Back in 1976, when Antony Jay penned his seminal “How to run a meeting” article for Harvard Business Review, some enterprising academic had calculated that there were 11 million business meetings taking place every day in the United States. That number may or may not have been accurate for the time, but it still appears in many articles published online today and will, thanks to the stochastic parrots of generative AI, likely linger on as “fact” for a while longer.

It seems likely that Lucid Meeting’s guess of around 70 million meetings a day (still US only) is more accurate, especially given the vast number of virtual conferences that now take place every postpandemic minute of the day. Whatever the figure is, much of Jay’s advice rings as true today as it did 47 years ago even though, back then, “fibre-optic video display” – as he puts it – was the stuff of science fiction rather than just the new normal for remote and hybrid get-togethers.

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