How To Make Meetings More Effective

By Brian Wallace

November 14, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

how to make meetings more effective

Collaboration is what the new workplace is all about. These days, it’s all about keeping everyone involved in all facets of a process so that everyone can contribute his or her expertise.

This rise in collaboration has made frequent meetings a necessity. Unfortunately, however, they aren’t always as productive as we would like them to be.

How Much Time Is Actually Wasted In Meetings?

effective meeting

The average worker attends or prepares for meetings more than a quarter of his work week. And almost never do you walk out of a meeting feeling like every second of that time was completely productive.

There are anywhere between 36 and 56 million meetings every day in America with ineffective meetings costing the U.S. economy as much as $283 billion a year. In this age of amazing technology, why are we still wasting so much time?

Some of the biggest pet peeves people have about meetings include:

  • 76% think most meetings are unnecessary
  • 58% report that meetings are repetitive
  • 59% report that meetings don’t stay on topic
  • 51% of people say that others will take calls in the meeting

Three-quarter of people report that they try to complete other tasks during meeting time. These tasks include things like eating lunch, taking a restroom break, checking personal emails and responding to work emails.

Unfortunately, multitasking isn’t usually very effective. So, why are we spending so much time in meetings when that time could clearly be spent better elsewhere?

How To Make Meetings More Effective?

office meetings

Clearly, we need to stop wasting everyone’s time and make sure that meetings are more meaningful and productive. Collaboration depends on it, so getting everyone on the same page is important.

In order to waste less of everybody’s time, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Utilize collaborative tools to eliminate the need for status update meetings
  • Clearly define meeting objectives ahead of time
  • Make sure that everyone stays on the topic for the meeting
  • Check in after the meeting and see whether everyone got the right message
  • Utilize technology to make meetings with remote workers or clients more productive

It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page but it’s equally important to recognize that meetings are not the best or most effective way to do that. Survey the needs and consider the goals of your team.

Meetings are great for things like brainstorming and team building. However, for keeping everyone on the same page, collaborative tools might be a better bet.

How Can Tech Make Meetings Better?

One of the biggest and most common gripes about meetings is that the tech doesn’t work properly or that it doesn’t work easily. Updating your tech can help eliminate some of the biggest sources of stress and frustration from within your team.

Start with the WiFi. When was the last time you got a new router?

Having trouble connecting to the WiFi is one of the most common problems to have in an office or conference room and it’s also one of the easiest to fix.

There are also great new collaborative tools that can help bring everyone to the same page – literally. Using a screen sharing software is a great way to ensure that everyone is seeing the same thing at the same time, even if they are in different locations. Interactive whiteboards can also help make collaborations more effective.

Many of the available tools today are very easy to set up, which is great because 79% of workers say they would be more open to using these tech tools if they were easy enough to set up.

Learn more about how to make meetings more effective with technology, check out the infographic below.

Learn to master meetings with the right technology

Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.

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