How to Make the Most of Meetings

4 September 2021


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Whether you love getting everyone together for a physical powwow or prefer to discuss projects through Microsoft Teams or Zoom, meetings will always be a staple of office life. The problem is that they can take up an awful lot of time, which can lead to productivity taking a dive.

In fact, research by eShare shows that the average office worker spends 10 hours and 42 minutes preparing for and attending meetings every single week. Sometimes this may be unavoidable, although there’s a very good chance that some of this time is wasted. According to the same survey, an average 2.6 of these hours are unnecessary, which is why we’ve put together some tips on how to make the most of meetings and get more done.


Avoid overbooking

You can’t beat a good statistic, so here’s another one – almost 70% of UK office workers believe they are required to attend too many meetings in the working week. It’s hard to argue with an overwhelming majority vote, so your business should avoid over-scheduling meetings by imposing a cap on how many an individual attends on a weekly basis.

There’s an easy way to achieve this. At your next meeting, take a look around the room and ask yourself whether everyone actually needs to be there. It may be that there are multiple people present from one team, with the alternative being that only one attends and then quickly relays the key info to their colleagues afterwards.


Set an agenda

Agendas aren’t a new idea as they’ve been around for decades, yet many businesses don’t bother to create them. If this applies to your company you’re really missing a trick, as an agenda ensures that the meeting is streamlined and always stays on track.

It also guarantees that no items of discussion will be overlooked, resulting in a faster and more efficient conversation.


Keep them short

Many meetings are allocated an hour but they won’t always require that much time. If a meeting finishes seven minutes early, don’t see out the remainder with idle chatter. Instead, return to work as soon as it’s finished, as no one wants to be stuck in a meeting that drags on just for the sake of it.


Embrace spontaneity

The vast majority of meetings are scheduled in advance but there’s something to be said for the ad hoc brainstorm. This may sound counterintuitive to the above points, yet going over an important matter or new idea when it’s fresh can bring a fantastic outcome.

On top of this, a routine team meeting booked into the calendar as standard may get in the way of the team’s immediate objectives and disrupt the day’s workflow. By instead calling a spontaneous meeting when everyone is present and available, you can go over time-sensitive topics and action them more quickly than when you have to wait for the usual slot to arrive.


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