Why do so many employees dread meetings? Because more often than not they are a waste of our precious time. This can mean that employees do not have sufficient opportunity to finish what they need to during their typical work hours and that they must do so on their own time.
There were a day and age where full in-person group meetings made the most sense. Although, this was before we had all of the various connection points email, phone, messenger, etc. that we do today.
With all of these new points of contact, why is so much of our time still being sucked away with meetings? Technology seems to not be helping. If anything, it has just made meetings even more commonplace since now we can also have virtual meetings on Zoom.
The Monday morning meeting is typical in many offices. This is generally a time that is used for different individuals or teams to provide updates on the status of their various projects. But remember: you are not just losing one hour of productivity to this meeting; you are losing one hour for every single employee in attendance. You may want to consider whether there are some updates that the entire team does not have to hear or which could instead be sent around in an email.
There are times when an in-person meeting will be the most effective and productive. In this case, there are some things that you can do to help ensure that the meeting runs as smoothly as possible. For example, the objectives and goals of each meeting should be clear to everyone from the start. This is important to ensure that the conversation stays on-task. Before the time slot, it may also be helpful to have an agenda or any materials sent around with the expectation that the full team will review prior to the meeting.
By requiring materials to be shared beforehand you ensure a couple of different things. This means that the presenter will be fully prepared before taking away their colleagues’ precious time. It also means that those attending the meeting will have had an opportunity to digest the information so that they are ready to discuss/pose any questions they may have and more quickly make a decision.
Before your next meeting consider whether or not this is something that really needs to be discussed in person. If so, make sure that all participants come armed and ready to discuss the topic at hand. This will save everyone time and energy.
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