There is a lot to be said about workplace meetings. Some would argue that we have too much of them, with overly administrative bosses keen to host them for all manner of things. On the flipside, there are others who see value in them when doing correctly and fleetingly.
What is unique to both, as of late, is the slow creep of these devices in meetings. You have those who forget to put their smartphone on silent, apologising effusively for their embarrassing mistake and you have those who think they’re getting away with texting on the sly, unaware their body language is giving away the game.
Now there is a solution. Fernando Barbella and Christiano Neves, who both work in advertising have invented what they call the Mobile Parking Lot, where, yes you’ve guessed it, you can park your device ahead of a meeting. This way, there are no opportunities for breaking with meeting protocol.
“We support the ultimate tool that lets anyone in a meeting know you’re paying attention: the eye contact,” they state on their official website. “That’s why we’ve created and launched this non-tech device that will help us have more productive and well-mannered meeting.”
So what exactly is it? It’s one of ten quirky print-outs of parking bay images that are big enough to fit most smartphones. You simply then fold the image into a 3D-esque structure and voila, a fun space for your device that has a serious aim behind it – to recapture the professionalism of the past.
On their website, they quote Earl Miller of MIT, who has said: “Our brains are not wired to multitask. Though we think we’re handling multiple activities at the same time, what we’re really doing is constantly switching between them. The problem is there’s a cognitive price to pay each time we put [ourselves] through that process.”