'This Meeting Could Have Been an Email': 3 Tips for More Effective Meetings

Published December 27th, 2020 - 04:00 GMT
'This Meeting Could Have Been an Email': 3 Tips for More Effective Business Meetings
The post-COVID19 lockdown has changed the way people interact at work for good. (Shutterstock: Krakenimages.com)

Amongst the many things we have changed our perspective of following the COVID19 emergency is business meetings, especially as we become more aware of physical distancing and the time we spend with other people in the same room. This is why a recent online trend has been calling for fewer meetings and more written communications between team members. But how can this be achieved?

Not only do people want to spend as little time as possible with others in the same physical space, after a whole year full of cautionary warnings against coming in close contact with other individuals who might be infected with the coronavirus, but also months of remote work have redefined our needs and our priorities at work, as we discovered new ways of finishing tasks on our own.

However, constant communication amongst team members remains quite crucial for the flow of business on a daily basis. They help boosting team members' interaction, brainstorming for ideas, and discussing the different challenges faced. 

But at the same time, extra lengthy meetings can be a sign of bad management that leads to a waste of time and energy.

According to a study by Harvard, most CEOs said they spend at least 72% of their working hours in meetings, while VPs said they spend about 44 hours a week in the meeting room. All this time could have been used to finish more urgent tasks and work on new projects. 

This is why more supervisors than ever are now interested in an answer to how to make the best out of the time spent in meetings without getting anyone bored or disengaged?

1. Have routine meetings with pre-set goals

Having brief daily or bi-daily meetings with already defined purposes helps each employee staying up-to-date with the rest of the team, in addition to it helping them preparing their thoughts, comments, and notes so they are discussed immediately. 

Making this a routine practice helps people stay in the loop for the most part. Consequently, only urgent and unusual issues will require longer meetings

2. Carefully plan meetings

If you are responsible for conducting meetings, keep your meetings organized. Write down your notes for the main points you want to discuss before offering the floor for other members of the team. This will help you stay in control of the time. Designating a meeting officer can also help you achieve this goal, as they can keep you and other colleagues alert for the time each discussion is taking. 

3. Better utilize emails and business communication platforms

The famous meme isn't just a funny viral one, it does have a point indeed. Many times, announcements that are made through meetings could have been done in emails, where any further concerns can be communicated in a thread.

Similarly, many online business communication platforms are now available for businesses so they can connect team members in formal and informal channels, so discussions continue throughout the day in different forms. It is also easier for them to take notes and share links to valuable articles.

Do you think meetings help you do a better job or do you prefer working individually? What other ways do you think can help teams have more effective meetings?

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