So way back when I was involved in meetings a disturbing trend was beginning to develop. Now its no secret that I don’t like people using their portable electronic devices (cellphones, pds, ipods, et cetera) when engaged in person-to-person social interactions but the use of such devices during meetings could actually send me into a rage.
And it was starting to happen all the time.
Ten people in a room discussing a cool feature, or trying to plan a demo and half of them had their noses buried in their portable devices catching up on email, or messages, or whatever. When I was working on Neverwinter Nights we only had had a handful of meetings a week, and seldom needed to revisit decisions four or five times but on later projects I was finding that we were having a handful of meetings a DAY and often the meetings were repeats, going over decisions that had already been made.
Now this isn’t entirely the fault of using these distraction devices but I can’t help but think that people were leaving the meetings not entirely sure of what had been decided — because they weren’t paying attention. I know there were more than a few times where someone senior on the project came into my office asking why we had decided X,Y,Z when they had actually been present for the meeting!
So, as a shout out to those of you new to industry — don’t do this. Multi-tasking, especially this kind of multi-tasking, is highly inefficient. And besides, isn’t the reason we all entered the game industry was to be actually involved? Not just treading water?
To me, this shows a lack of respect for those who organized the meeting. It is one of the many consequences of the “We don’t have hierarchy” work culture that is happening, because people can use their devices and no one has the balls or authority to tell them to knock it off!
[…] I posted about how electronic devices can really disrupt meetings. Now Richard Curtis over at [e-reads] has a post discussing Christine Pearson’s book which […]