Before lockdown, the word ‘zoom’ had quite different connotations for most of us. Space rockets. Rollercoasters. Exhilaration. A feeling of moving fast and getting somewhere. But now, at least for some, it’s come to mean almost the exact opposite. A damp squib. Slowness. Drudgery.
It’s not Zoom’s fault. Meetings, or rather the way we do them, have always been a problem. Steven Rogelberg’s 2019 book, The Surprising Science of Meetings, is the most recent of many attempts to understand how we can use them more effectively. The practical recommendations he makes – such as to think carefully about meeting length – seem obvious and sensible. Strange, then, that they are not yet part of the design of every meeting in every organisation.