Author: Kari Paul Source: Marketwatch
If you want to schedule a meeting to talk with Jeff Bezos, the earlier the better.
The Amazon chief executive officer prefers not to discuss important matters after 5 p.m., he said in an on-stage discussion at the economics think tank The Economic Club in Washington D.C. on Thursday night. If anything comes up at that time, he will wait to address them until the next day.
“I do my high IQ meetings before lunch,” he said, according to Axios. “Like anything that’s going to be really mentally challenging, that’s a 10 o’clock meeting.”
Bezos is onto something with that idea. Scheduling meetings in the morning is good for business, according to “When,” a book by behavioral science author Daniel Pink. Executives’ moods get worse throughout the day, which can negatively impact stock prices, a study of 26,000 earnings calls from 2,000 companies found.
Calls later in the day influenced the emotional tone of the conversation, and as the mood soured, the company’s stock price could too. “When we schedule meetings, we only think about one criterion — availability,” Pink said. “Instead, we should be thinking about what kind of meeting it is: analytical, administrative, creative. We should be thinking about what type of people are there. Are they morning people or evening people?”
Another rule Bezos has regarding meetings: No PowerPoint presentations. Instead, he has the presenter write a memo of around six pages, and attendees read it silently at the beginning of the discussion. He said the best memos are written “with the clarity of angels singing.”
He has previously criticized large meetings, implementing what he calls the “two pizza rule” — if two pizzas couldn’t feed the entire group at a meeting, the meeting is too big. He said time-saving policies like this allow his executives to stick to a 40-hour work week.
The Amazon founder — who is worth more than $150 billion and is now the richest person in the world — swears by a regular sleep schedule, getting a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night.
He has also said he doesn’t believe in a “work-life balance.” “I get asked about work-life balance all the time,” he said earlier this year. “And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off.”
Amazon has been criticized in the past for employee work conditions. The typical Amazon worker made less than $30,000 in 2017. Amazon has said that figure takes into account its global workforce of 560,000 people at all levels and that the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in its U.S. fulfillment centers — including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses — is over $15 per hour before overtime.
A U.K. investigation into labor issues recently found that many employees were forced to relieve themselves in bottles during 10-hour shifts because they were reportedly afraid of being disciplined for taking bathroom breaks.