Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKING ABROAD / MAR. 04, 2015
version 3, draft 3

How to Escape from Meetings at Work

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It’s amazing how dull and dreary office meetings tend to be! You have one or two supervisors droning on about company policy, changes in the workplace, and so on. Even if the meetings convey important information, it’s usually done so in a very boring way.

But what if you could escape from those work meetings? Life would be much better, right? Read on to find great ways to get out of meetings at work…

Should You Escape?

Before you plan your great escape, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this is the best use of my time?
  • Is participating in this meeting going to benefit the company or me?
  • Are there other people more appropriate for this meeting?
  • Should I be doing something else right now?

These questions will help you decide whether or not you belong at the meeting.

How to Get Out of Meetings

It’s important that you know the various types of meetings held in your company. Some will be important, some will be mandatory, and some will be a waste of time. Attend all the important meetings, but try to get out of the other two.

Here’s how you can get out of the meeting:

Claim You Have an Important Assignment

If you know, there’s a meeting coming up, volunteer for an important, time-sensitive work assignment. When meeting time rolls around, you’ll be able to use that assignment as an excuse to skip the meeting.

Just Don’t Show Up

If your boss notices that you are not at the meeting then sees you working hard at your desk, it may make him/her think twice about these meetings in the future. You may get a bit of fuss about not showing up, but you can always use "busy day" as the excuse.

Talk to the Boss

Your boss may also see these meetings as a huge waste of time, but they’re as obligated to attend as you are. If you can come up with a valid reason you can’t be there, they may be able to cover for you or smooth things over with the meeting organizer.

Offer an Alternative

If you are attending a meeting that someone else would be better suited for, offer them as the alternative. For example, "I know I’m scheduled to attend this conference call, but I think, given Bob’s expertise with data analytics, he would be better suited for this particular meeting." It may often be enough to get you out of the meeting.

Mention Priorities

How important is this meeting? If you are on a team with special priorities, you may have important tasks that need completion. Your boss will usually want those tasks to be finished on time, so you can talk to your boss about your to-do list.

One very important note: escaping meetings may be a good way to get more done, but it can ultimately undermine your progress in the company. Even if the meetings seem unimportant or boring, it may be the smart play to attend them anyway. Avoid doing anything that would give you negative marks on your year-end performance review!

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