I’ve never been a fan of optionally inviting people to meetings.
It’s always screamed at me – “If you don’t want them there, don’t invite them”.
But now having worked with people remotely for a longer period of time, I’m starting to see the value in can have in people’s minds.
And I still think it’s wrong because we are associating optional meeting invites as a way to cure FOMO for the remote age (Fear of Missing Out). So we let everyone know when a meeting is happening, why it is happening and give the option to show up if they so desire.
But they get the fix knowing about the meeting.
Here are my primary concerns with the message an optional meeting invite sends;
- It still shows up in your calendar (great, it still takes up space).
- Will the person actually attend? Who knows, but if they haven’t attended the last 5 meetings that they were optional for, are you going to spend the first 15 minutes giving a larger than normal recap?
- When they do show-up, they don’t need to show up prepared do they? Whereas everyone else in the meeting should be showing up ready to go and get started – this creates an imbalance as well.
If I were to boil it down – you wouldn’t optionally invite people to your birthday party would you? Or your kid’s birthday party?