During lockdown, knowledge workers has increased the amount of time spent working by one whole hour. The average meeting is now 10 minutes longer. Clearly, fully remote working is not working for most of us.
It used to be only managers who spent their days in back-to-back meeting, but that is now the reality for many of us. A lot of the casual coordination that happened at the coffee maker or in the corridor now requires a meeting.
One way to fight back is to start scheduling shorter meetings. No online meeting needs to be a whole hour. If you schedule it for 50 minutes, you will get exactly the same amount of work done, and you will have 10 minutes to decompress before your next meeting. If you can’t get that through in your department, start putting a dummy 10-minute appointment into your calendar every hour from 10 minutes before the hour until the hour. In that way, the scheduling function will be unable to fit whole-hour meetings into you calendar, and the scheduler might get the hint and schedule only 50 minutes.