How-To Make Meetings More Productive in 2020 | Eyenetwork

We have all sat through a mundane, Monday morning meeting that is poorly structured and as a result feels drawn-out and inefficient. A lot of businesses however forget to address meeting structures or consider alternate styles and methods in order to make the hour set aside, more productive. 

Statistics complied by Inc., HBR and Sharp Europe show the huge toll that poorly organised meetings play on US company finances and the US economy in general:

 

  • There are more than 25 million meetings each day in the United States.
  • Over $37 billion is wasted on unproductive business meetings every year. 
  • Businesses spend around 15% of their collective time stuck in meetings.
  • 71% of senior managers admitted that meetings are unproductive & inefficient.
  • 64% of senior management said meetings lack deep thinking and creativity. 
  • 62% of senior management said meetings fail to bring teams closer together. 
  • Sharp Europe reported in a study that 63% of meetings did not have a planned agenda.

 

It is undeniable that businesses could invest time and resources into exploring innovative meeting ideas in order to increase the productivity of this sacred hour. We’ll explore some of these ideas below that can be simple but highly effective ways of better managing your team meeting. First, why not try a tool from the Harvard Business Review to help you understand how much hour meeting is costing you?

Meeting Cost Calculator 

See how much your meetings are costing your company, or at least get an idea of the ball park expense you could be reducing with HBR’s Meeting Cost Calculator.

Simply enter the number of meeting attendees, the length of time the meeting is running for and the average salaries for each individual taking part. Also consider however how you could be reducing this number simply by making your meetings more productive through some of the tips below.

This downside to working remotely can be counteracted by video conferencing, as it keeps employees connected while also cutting costs for employers through reducing office rent and building maintenance.
Rather than renting out an entire building for all employees, business owners are finding value in renting individual suites or using co-working spaces, then using video conferencing to cut their costs. All while remaining connected to their employees. 

 

meeting productivity infographic

Ways To Increase Meeting Productivity


Reduce Travel Time & Expenses

Having your employees travel long-distances to and from meetings, particularly when the meeting is unproductive; takes a large toll on not only the employee but your company’s finances. 

While your staff are travelling to and attending meetings, they are being paid to do so. With a skilled team, you are not only paying for them to travel, you are also taking them away from opportunities to further your company’s success and taking them away from projects they could be otherwise completing. 

Two ways to reduce the negative impact of this are:

  • Ensure your meeting is structure and productive, in order to make it worthwhile taking your employee away from there usual tasks.
  • Consider virtual meetings, saving money and time where employees won’t be travelling long distances; which also can affect their tiredness.

Give Reminders

Although somewhat rare, having a colleague forget a meeting especially if they are from a higher management tier can be extremely costly to your business. 

Ensuring you set reminders for colleagues or making sure at the beginning of the week everyone involved has it in their diary is obvious but necessary. 

 


Virtual Meetings

Perfect for remote working or simply for companies who have employees or clients in different countries, virtual conferencing is a cost effective option – saving time, cutting out travel costs and in some cases can actually make meetings more efficient and succinct. 

Keep in Mind

  • You’ll need all parties to have a reliable internet connection
  • All involved will need access to a built-in or external microphone and in some cases camera. 
  • You will need to invest in software subscriptions, however in the long-term this will likely save money if used regularly to replace the face-to-face meeting. 
  • Be aware of Time Zones and ensure if you’re sending out invites to virtual meetings that the recipient is getting the correct time for their Time Zone.

 

 

 

Balanced Structure

Does a meeting always have to be work, work, work? Although, of course, work needs to take priority, it can sometimes be more productive to balance work conversations with fun and a more relaxed feel. Individuals all learn in different ways, so considering how to incorporate a more balanced structure into your meetings could drastically help engagement, attention and productivity. 

Pre-Planned Agenda

So we’ve talked about having a ‘balanced structure’ but in some cases meetings fail to have any pre-planned agenda at all! This, in the most part, is inefficient and can lead to attendees losing interest, becoming restless and struggling to follow the topics that are discussed.

Therefore, take the time to consider how you want the meeting to run and be strict with timings which can be used to know when to move on from one point to another. Make your attendees aware of the agenda when you start, to help them understand the transition from one point to another throughout the meeting.

 

Unique Meeting Ideas

Where are you having your meeting? In the company conference room? In the cafe?

Meetings don’t have to always be, same place, same time, the same atmosphere etc. It can be incredibly refreshing to change the meeting style, structure and location. Some may even find it more productive and 

  • Take your meeting for a walk
  • Have your meeting in nature
  • Make your meeting more fun with gamification.

 

Equip Your Room

It’s commonplace to use digital technology for meetings, presentations and conferences; but how often do we hear the phrase “well that’s technology for you”, or words to that effect? 

Failing technology or misplacing/forgetting meeting room equipment can cause huge time wastage and therefore negatively impact your business financially. Therefore ensure that prior to meetings, the equipment is working, you have any adapters you may need for different laptop connections, the room is in an adequate state etc. 

To use the time set aside to ‘set-up’ the room is wasteful and unecessary. 

 

 

What’s clear is that multiple businesses struggle to breakaway from the meeting traditions that have stayed in their company since it’s beginnings. In 2020, make this the year of breaking out of the mould and taking new approaches to learning, developing and communicating with your team, colleagues and clients.

Eyenetwork offer a huge range of video conferencing services from cloud conferencing, meeting room equipment, bridging, court video links etc. If you’d like to speak to a member of our team about how you can improve your meeting facilities or processes then please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

We specialise in the future of Cloud Video Conferencing

 

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