Meeting and eating has become a regime in government departments. You can get a full meal if your meeting stretches the whole day. Meeting rooms are so cozy, you can doze off if the meeting is boring.
This culture has never been a practice in a Japanese company (oh should I mention, manufacturing company). When I was working as an engineer in a Japanese MNC, meeting is usually conducted in meeting rooms in each building you are in. RF Design section was in Building 2, which has 1 meeting room. Meeting is done accordingly, short if everything is ok, a bit long if there is a problem. But never it surpassed 2 hours.
And, eating? NEVER. We were not even served a cup of coffee. If you have a meeting with customer in Building 1, where the General Manager is in, then you will be lucky enough to be served with one. Other than that, you bring your own mineral water la.
You knowla how the Japanese companies are very particular about "Muda" (wastage).They will try their best to reduce wastage in terms of money, energy, time and whatever.According to my husband, the company now is moving a step forward.
To reduce meeting time, make faster decisions, meetings are done standing.The meeting rooms are now locked, only opened for trainings for new staff.Another meeting area will only have a table, if they need to use projector and laptop.And this includes managers meeting which is held every Wednesday. (No wonder my husband looks so tired after work on this day).
They have been implemented this kaizen for about a couple of months now. I am not sure how they quantify the results of this kaizen effort, but I am pretty sure everybody would want to end the meeting quickly.
Who wants to stand up and argue for more than an hour??