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OPINION

The return of Brazilian Meeting Time

Calling time on the virtual meeting room

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Meetings in Brazil have never started at the horário ingles – translated as ‘English time’ – that is used as a colloquialism for the wry amusement of anyone expecting something to begin when it is supposed to.

But the effects of two years of the coronavirus pandemic are now becoming apparent on the more widely followed Brazilian Meeting Time (BMT).

The start of BMT has always been at least 15 minutes after the horário ingles, with an additional period of similar length devoted to small talk with those present, while waiting for the stragglers to breeze in with the air of punctuality at around the half-hour mark.

But Zoom has changed all that. “If I log in five minutes after the start of the meeting, everyone else is there, and there’s a feeling I’m joining late,” says one Brazilian banker, shaking his head.

Luckily for us all, physical meetings are returning. And luckily for him, BMT is returning as well. He made this observation at the beginning of at least 15 minutes of small talk that took place after he had joined Euromoney in the meeting room 20 minutes after the horário ingles.

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