Patrick McCarthy A blog

Time Is Money

Ask most any professional what one of the largest time sinks in their day is and most of them will answer “meetings”. Meetings with too many people, meetings without a clear purpose, meetings that go on for too long. It seems to be an epidemic. Time is a finite, limited resource with real value and yet it wastes away in conference rooms and on speakerphones around the world every day.

Don’t get me wrong, meetings are not entirely pointless. They can be used effectively for team organization, collaboration, and status. But often they bloat well beyond their usefuless. How many daily standups have you been in that lasted over 30 minutes for a less than 10 person team? Or design meetings with a dozen people in them for hours on end while only two or three people are engaged?

While stuck in one of these meetings a thought occurred: what if people could see just how costly their meetings were, in real time? So as a thought experiment I hacked together a little tool, Time Is Money. When you’re about to have a meeting, add in your attendees and ballpark their hourly cost to the business (including wages, benefits, taxes, overhead, etc.) and start the timer. As people join and leave the meeting, feel free to add and remove them from the attendees list.

Then watch, perhaps in horror, at exactly how expensive it is to have ten highly paid professionals in a room at $120/hr for two hours. Is it worth it?