How to Reduce Endless Meetings and Stay Productive

How to Reduce Endless Meetings and Stay Productive

There are many aspects in our working life that can derail plans and sap productivity.  Whether it is a busy day filled with meetings or a tiresome evening of conference calls when there is zero strategy concerning your gatherings it all leads to an organisational culture or nature of the work.

By understanding the pain of unproductive meetings and the core problem associated with them, it is possible to define an improvement strategy. After all, leading wasteful meetings is not the end of this world. When executed correctly they can present numerous advantages:

Pushing and pulling information

You can share new ideas, exchange key messages, inform about news or updates. And once any piece of information is introduced you start gathering real life-time reports without even conducting purposeful feedback surveys. Are you gathering a weekly/monthly/quarterly review?

Are you tracking the project/task performance reached? Productive meetings can help you with anything you need.

Structuring team

When the meeting is held all issues can be discussed and all tasks can be appointed. Every business professional would agree that promoting healthy engagement and interaction is an integral component of any corporate venture.

It doesn’t only boost working efficiency among teammates but brings consistency of outputs. This way co-workers understand their role and the priorities they should be focusing on.

Managing work in progress efficiently

Recurring work meetings throughout the working process on Slack, Trello, various Messenger platforms are a guarantor of successfully supervised and completed projects.

Utilising any of these versatile multi-tasking methods of proliferating information is an essential tactic that lets meetings pass by faster and more constructive.

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Developing decision-making

Everyone can frame their own key decisions, share concerns, and end with agreed-upon next steps. The nature of meetings can produce a useful strategy for connecting with others, and inspiring for projects at the same time. Besides, it can involve individual decision making, as well as go beyond collective intelligence.

However, it is safe to say that not every meeting planned or conducted produces desired outcomes and results. As a matter of fact, most employees and employers find it a real threat to productivity, focus, and engagement.

Harvard Business Review surveyed 182 senior managers in a range of industries, seventy-one percent of which claimed meetings are an inefficient tool to exist in a company. Yet, it doesn’t mean they should stop occurring on your timetable. There are many ways to organise them right and reduce endless meetings. Here is a short look at how:

Develop the agenda before meetings

Meetings are essential for fostering relationships and ensuring proper information exchange. But they can only provide real benefits when there is a defined agenda that makes it a less chaotic and dysfunctional process.

Being prepared in advance you will make a meeting stay on track and everyone will know what is happening and what is going to happen next. There is no second, no minute wasted, because you have clear indicators of what should be discussed now and what argued next.

Moreover, it contributes to a lower level of negativity in the workplace and the mental stress in the workforce. Decisions and day-to-day operations are implemented towards successful striving for the next month, year and beyond.

Each meeting participant knows the exact guidelines and is focused on the goals that are crucial for work. Without an agenda, a meeting can rapidly become inconsistent and time-wasting. Soon enough it will turn into endless chatter that doesn’t get to any conclusion.

Define the type of meeting

Whether it is done for the purpose of team building or status update, you have to define it beforehand to stay aligned and discuss any challenges or barriers. Thoughtful and clear outlining of meetings’ goals will move things along quickly and be less wasteful in the long run.

Moreover, identifying the reason why everyone has gathered, a meeting can be used as a powerful tool to achieve the company’s goals. Could you ever imagine that nearly twenty-six percent of employees do not understand the added value of their presence at meetings?

Or, maybe, you have already been in these shoes of endless meetings. Sometimes, hearing a topic discussed doesn’t represent any meaningful benefit if you are from the other department or taken on other working responsibilities.

Thus, as wise business people, you will definitely want to arrange everything to ensure every meeting participant feels on the same page. Before you run one, consider the actual purpose of current happenings and issues in the company, and see what kind of meeting will fit better for each employee.

Reduce Endless Meetings

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Think about remote conferencing

Nowadays, as the entire world is switching to the virtual form of working, businesses should reconsider their remote meetings strategy. As a matter of fact, it is more meaningful to create an online plan carefully estimating the duration of the meetings and the assigned tasks.

New research revealed that forty-two percent of remote workers are “overindulged in pointless chit-chat”. The lengthy meetings cause even a much worse damaging effect online, than in the office.

Of course, nobody cancels the importance of face-to-face gatherings. It is just the fact that digital tools are more beneficial and cost-effective for collaboration. The prevalence of innovations and technologies sustains remote communication and partnership less demandingly than it happens in the offline mode.

So, business people need to set up a plan of action with the use of high-tech solutions to make sure none of the attendees hate to sit down in meetings that would run for hours and with no result whatsoever.

Calculate the time and costs

When it comes to working, we all treasure our precious time and aim to avoid any uncompleted business. Therefore, to enable collaboration, creativity, and innovation altogether it is highly recommended to estimate all the money wasted.

There is a very handy calculator made by HBR for this purpose. By measuring the time of the meeting and the average pay of attendants, it will be easier to manage both your meetings and savings. Oftentimes, we observe how team gatherings involve much cost of food and entertaining activities.

So, when it is not taken into account, any meeting will turn into ill-organised. As you are here to not let this happen, try running short daily meetings setting aside 5-10 mins at the end of each to bring up any additional questions or concerns.

You can gradually move from conversation to impactful decisions even in a limited period of time like this. It is a real fallacy to think that resolving a huge consensus demands much time. Devoting a few minutes will be just enough. And as you go with short gatherings, the reduced cost of the events will be perfectly noticeable.

Use collaboration tools

To win the rank of the best event players we can’t just walk away from the development of mobile applications that let us be more flexible and productive throughout a meeting. The custom software development services, like VironIT can grant you numerous cost-saving and revenue-generating options.

You only need to know which one is the right tool in your particular business case. Gradually, each business integrates technologies to handle endless meeting or conferencing issues. You can get access to your work anywhere, any time of the day and conduct it with no disruption to schedules and in-office work.

Furthermore, using collaboration tools is relatively cost saving compared to what you or your employees normally spend to meet one another for a few hours. According to Gigaom cloud-based collaborative videoconferencing is claimed to be an awesome way to increase engagement and productivity.

You don’t need to worry about team workflow and its organisation, because thanks to digital online meeting services information becomes more accessible to teams or team members and streamline processes get to run more steadily.

In Summary

To stay productive always remains the toughest challenge at work. When it comes to get-togethers the degree of inefficiency might often go over even higher than that. Collaborative endeavours bring creative ideas and supercharge problem solving.

Yet, it is also very time-consuming and costly. While many business professionals and managers are in search of an ideal way to escape endless meetings, you know how to get the maximum of it and become darn efficient instead. Use these above-described methods together to achieve your goal of well-structured meetings.

About the Author

Mary Byrd is a freelance writer with a combination of analytical mind and creativity. Mary is one of the best specialists in her field, who is always looking for new ways to create interesting content.