- Pricing It Out: Introduced in July 2023, the Meeting Cost Calculator puts a price on each planned meeting based on its length and attendee count. Users see its cost in Google Calendar, acting as a warning before they send out invitations. According to Shopify, a 30-minute session with three employees can run from $700 to $1,600 (depending on participants’ salaries), and adding an executive can increase the figure up to $2,000.
The tool aims to change the default answer to meeting invitations from “yes” to “no”, thereby increasing output and saving money. This builds off Shopify’s previous initiative to eliminate all recurring meetings with more than two people. The company is on pace to cut 322,000 idle hours and 474,000 discrete video calls in 2023, according to chief operating officer Kaz Nejatian, who built the Meeting Cost Calculator.
- Widespread Productivity Decline: The tool follows wider news of decreased worker productivity in both the UK and US throughout 2022. While some blame remote working for the decline, employees in hybrid or remote environments report greater satisfaction and engagement. According to Steven Rogelberg, management professor at the University of North Carolina, cost calculators won’t directly boost productivity. Instead, he suggests coupling these with training on how to plan valuable meetings.
- Workers Want Time-Savers: Interest in tools that streamline professional communications transcends Shopify. As highlighted in Work Tech: AI & the Hybrid Office, workers believe more than 10 hours a week could be saved by consolidating tech tools that eliminate back-and-forth scheduling. Meanwhile, 90% of employees want to use tools that improve efficiency (see The Brief).