Please, don’t take a seat

by Iain Hopkins15 Feb 2012

Please, don’t take a seatA new trend is gaining speed at tech companies and no whinging of tired legs is allowed. Say good-bye to sit-down meetings – short and to the point ‘stand up’ meetings may be taking hold.

In a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, company meetings are held every morning at US software development firm Atomic Object. Attendance is compulsory, no idle chitchat is allowed and most importantly, everyone has to stand up. The objective of standing up is to maximise productivity with minimum time wastage and reduce the opportunity for workers to play with their phones or tune out. “At the end of meetings, which rarely last more than five minutes, employees typically do a quick stretch and then go on with their day,” Michael Marsiglia, vice president Atomic Object said.

The current wave of stand-up meetings owes its popularity to ‘Agile’, an approach to software development that calls for compressing development projects into short pieces. It also involves daily stand-up meetings where employees do a quick update with each other on what they have done since yesterday’s meeting, what they are doing today and any problems they are facing with their work.

Employees late for meetings may have to sing a nursery rhyme or pay a small fine, said Mike Cohn, president of US firm Mountain Goat Software. “If someone is speaking for too long, an employee may hold up a rubber rat, indicating it is time to move on.”

According to a poll by Version One, a firm that makes Agile-development software, 78% of the 6,042 tech employees surveyed had daily stand-up meetings in their office.

COMMENTS

  • by Bernie Althofer 16/02/2012 10:20:46 AM

    Interesting concept and another way of not treating employees with respect and dignity. Perhaps a better way is to actually learn how to run meetings with and use an agenda so that people know what is expected. I would encourage people being made to sing a nursery rhyme or pay a small fine to say that the behaviour is inappropriate and breaches the Code of Conduct in relation to respect and dignity. The sooner these types of behaviours are recognised for what they really are, the better off we will be.

    By all means, have a stand up meeting but use an agenda and treat people with respect and dignity.

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