In many instances, workplace meetings can have a positive impact on your company and increase productivity. However, other times they can actually be more trouble than they’re worth and end up being a hindrance to productivity. In fact, studies have found that “professionals lose 31 hours per month to unproductive meetings, which is equivalent to four work days each month.”
Research also suggests “of the 11 million meetings that occur in the U.S. every day, half the meeting time is actually wasted.” Here are some ways to make your meetings count and ensure that they’re more productive.
Have an Outline in Place
It’s imperative that you know precisely which topics you’re going to cover beforehand and get right down to business. This will guide your discussion and make sure that your meeting stays on track and become derailed midway through. If you’re covering multiple topics, you should decide what percentage of the meeting you want to spend on each topic.
Invite the Right People
One of the biggest time-wasters is when employees attend a meeting where the information discussed doesn’t directly pertain to them. In this scenario, you’ve got staff spending valuable time in a meeting that could be better spent getting actual work done. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider who needs to be present and who doesn’t when deciding who you want to attend.
Keep it Brief
Research has shown that human attention spans are only good for about 15 minutes. This means that long-winded meetings greatly exceeding 15 minutes are often counterproductive – and employees are unlikely to retain much of the information. The bottom line is that you should try to cover everything without going overboard and overwhelming your staff.
Technology has made it easier than ever to streamline meetings and keep everyone on the same page regardless of location. For instance, GoToMeeting, Join.me and AnyMeeting are all viable tools that make it possible for staff members to conveniently participate by using a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Taking advantage of this type of technology can improve collaboration and prevent staff from being bound by location.
By having the right game plan, you can avoid a lot of the meeting pitfalls that many companies succumb to. This should keep things moving and ensure that you’re reaching maximum productivity.