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This leading e-commerce company wants to permanently put an end to large meetings

The e-commerce platform Shopify is conducting a “purge” to remove all major, recurring meetings from staff calendars to send a message that it would prefer them not be attended or promoted.

As part of the shakeup, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke instituted new rules prohibiting any meetings on Wednesdays and limiting gatherings of more than 50 individuals to a six-hour window on Thursdays.

Having spent 2022 lowering expenses, the corporation is likely trying to boost productivity across by taking steps like those recently implemented at Meta, Clorox, Twilio, Slack, and Asana.

The Shopify Board Cleans House

Lutke’s argument that large-scale meetings and internal chat groups preserve “the status quo” suggests that Shopify is addressing a perceived decline in productivity head-on.

To quote Shopify’s COO and VP of Product Kaz Nejatian from Forbes: “the most significant resource we have is the time of individual contributors. It is the managers, not the workers, whose schedules are prioritised inefficiently in most businesses.

Using automation, such as a bot to remind meeting organisers of the new regulations, the firm hopes to “force change” within, as Nejatian explained.

It’s part of a larger trend in the IT industry, where businesses are enacting similar restrictions in an effort to reclaim calendar time lost to meetings. Each company has coined its own label for this issue.

Asana has already conducted its own “meeting doomsday” experiment to clear calendars, while Slack execs have allegedly referred to it as “calendar bankruptcy.” It was similar to Shopify in that it reminded workers to use “judgement” while rescheduling previously scheduled meetings.