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March 31, 2008

Amusing and Terrifying Headline: "Companies go 'topless' at meetings"

No thanks, boss, I'd rather you didn't. Oh, laptopless. That's a different story.

Distractions from laptops and other devices are causing many San Francisco companies to say they are going "topless" -- no electronic devices at meetings.

Many companies are banning electronics during meetings after getting increasing complaints of sidetracked workers slowing down productivity, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

"Laptops, Blackberries, Sidekicks, iPhones and the like keep people from being fully present. Aside from just being rude, partial attention generally leads to partial results," said Todd Wilkens of Adaptive Path, a San Francisco design firm.

Having to make eye contact will probably be a new experience for a lot folks. Let's be honest, nobody likes meetings and most people are skeptical about their usefulness. Half of every company or firm meeting I've ever been in is spent simply helping the slowest person catch up. Once whoever is in charge decides that meetings are supposed to give everyone a complete situational awareness of activities in the office, you might as well hang up a sign: "Not Doing Anything Today."

That's the whole point of having a laptop or other device that connects to the outside world. Now, you can get some actual work done while everyone else is getting filled in on the Important Action Alerts. Or, y'know, play a little Text Twist, check your email, and make dinner plans.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:36 AM

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