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The Surprising Impact of Meeting-Free Days

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The Surprising Impact of Meeting-Free Days

Many organizations are implementing no-meeting days, but finding the optimal weekly balance requires deliberation

MIT Sloan Management Review,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Setting aside no-meeting days can boost productivity, employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Scientific
  • Applicable


A growing number of companies no longer regard meetings as the best tool for maintaining and enhancing team collaboration and cohesion. An in-depth survey of 76 businesses worldwide revealed that introducing meeting-free days led to a rise in productivity of 71%, an increase in cooperation of 55% and a boost in job satisfaction of 52%. Writing in the MIT Sloan Management Review, professors Ben Laker, Vijay Pereira, Pawan Budhwar and Ashish Malik provide all the data and explain how to create an optimal meeting practice for your company.


Instituting meeting-free days raises productivity, collaboration, employee empowerment and job satisfaction.

To assess the effect of meeting-free days, researchers surveyed 76 companies, all of which introduced a practice of designating no-meeting days in the last year.

One day per week without meetings caused measurable improvements in productivity, employee autonomy, communication, engagement and satisfaction. This practice also decreased micromanagement and stress.

Two no-meeting days per week led to 71% higher productivity and a 52% increase in job satisfaction, with employees reporting they felt more empowerment and autonomy...

About the Authors

All four authors are leadership, business or human resources professors: Ben Laker teaches at the Henley Business School at the University of Reading, Vijay Pereira at NEOMA Business School, Pawan Budhwar at Aston University’s Aston Business School, and Ashish Malik at Newcastle Business School at the University of Newcastle.

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