Going Topless in the Open Office?


Okay. This post is decidedly off-topic for this blog, so hardcore readers interested only in updates on the opening of the Social Web feel free to skip over…

I’m writing to comment on a story emerging not in the blogosphere, but in the world of traditional media. It is the story of changing attitudes toward — and business practices around — that necessary evil of businesses, “meetings.”

It got started with a piece in the L.A. Times by Jessica Guynn, entitled “Silicon Valley meetings go ‘topless’.” (Meaning that some companies are banning laptops and other devices from meetings.) In it, she also references a more radical innovation started by Joseph Smarr and Mark Jen at Plaxo, which seeks to banish meetings on all days, except Tuesdays:

“That frustration is so widespread that some start-ups cut meetings short or do away with them. Mountain View, Calif., Internet company Plaxo Inc. took a “meat ax” to meetings, moving them all to Tuesdays with the goal of making other days more productive. (They called it “Meataxo.”) ”

The story then spread “across the pond” to the UK, in a piece by Dan Glaister of the Guardian:

That frustration has led to yet another innovation: meeting-free companies. That too has a snappy moniker: “meataxo”, as in take a meat axe to meetings. “No-laptop meetings make sense,” Zawodny blogged. “No meetings makes more sense.”

And now, the story has jumped over from newspapers to television, in a piece by ABC News, entitled “Going Topless in the Office”.

My hat is off to Jessica Guynn for a truly viral meme!

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