“60% or less of work time is actually spent productively.” Sounds like money being wasted to me. In fact, it costs US businesses $37 billion in salary costs for unnecessary meetings. Ouch.
There is such a thing as too many unnecessary, unproductive meetings. I’ve learned that not every meeting applies to me and I’ve routinely been excused from attending the ones that don’t directly impact/influence me. Problem solved.
eBook - Make Smarter Business Decisions Download eBook
Make Smarter Business DecisionsDownload eBook
However not everyone shares the same luck. Just look at the way many employees view meetings, which I’m sharing here. Consider it a tip from an insider.
1. Drop everything you’re working on right now. Spend an hour being bored. Walk back to your desk and try to refocus on what you were doing before. What were you working on again???
2. Attempt to work during the meeting to catch up on things you’ll be behind on otherwise. Miss half of what was said during the meeting, especially the part that directly applied to you.
3. Listen intently. Realize nothing pertains to you and you could’ve been finishing up something else at this very moment. This time can never be regained. Complain.
Here’s a look at the ‘average meeting goer’, as Atlassian puts it:
- 91% daydream during meetings
- 96% miss meetings
- 39% sleep during a meeting
- 45% feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings they attend
- 73% do other work in meetings
- 47% complain that meetings are the #1 time-waster at the office
But as always, not all meetings are like that and not everyone shares these sentiments regarding meetings. When done effectively, meetings are a great way to get everyone on the same page and get projects moving.
So where do we go from here? It’s time to conduct an audit of your meetings.
1. Does everyone in the meeting have something to contribute? Or do they simply need an update?
Hint: If someone’s doing something else in the meeting, maybe they don’t need to be present.
Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and keep track of progress updates in a ticket. Using ConnectWise’s ticket management system, a ticket serves as a central source of information, relieving you and your employees from excessive meetings, and keeping everyone aware of what’s happening with a project, a customer issue, a sales opportunity, etc.
2. Do your meetings always go off topic?
Consider the concept of huddles. Short, sweet, and to the point. Everyone gets the updates they need and then gets back to work. No time wasting, no veering off topic and then struggling to regain focus. Also, no time for people to fall asleep during the meeting.
3. Do you get frustrated that the attendees aren’t prepared?
Maybe it’s not the right time to hold the meeting, maybe further one-off discussions need to be held or more investigation/individual work needs to be done. Harvard Business Review recently posted a flowchart to help decide when a meeting is necessary. In the steps leading up to the meeting, you can monitor the ticket updates from ConnectWise and know exactly when you’ve taken the project as far as it can go prior to meeting.
Eliminating unnecessary meetings will help you reap the benefits of increased efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain (read: time and money)!