Three meetings back to back this morning, then two this afternoon, a two-hour teleconference and a one-hour NetMeeting. Oh yes, I've been there, and when it's bad, it gets worse. You're scheduling meetings to schedule meetings, and scheduling meetings with peers and subordinates to find out what happened at meetings you didn't go to. You can't find your boss or any of your employees because they're all in meetings. More voicemails, more emails, more time spent responding. And every conference room on site is booked tighter than a Denver airport hotel in a blizzard. Yuck. Welcome to "meeting mode." Survey estimates suggest that corporate workers spend a third of their time in meetings, and half of that time is totally unproductive. Further, meetings interrupt work flow so that, for many, what's left is a half hour here and an hour there where little else can be accomplished. So the expensive workplace toll probably adds up to half a worker's available productive time. Do we need to run the numbers on that one? The challenge, of course, is to keep workers productive but also in the loop. Many managers go overboard with meetings to "improve" communication and teamwork, but in fact do the opposite -- nobody's ever available. Click here for the video version of this story from Jennifer Openshaw.